Woods of Windsor goes in 'Fountain'

February 27, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Woods of Windsor, perhaps the best Maryland-bred who could compete in this spring's Triple Crown races, faces his sternest career test today when he runs in the first division of the $150,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

But he is just one of three Ben Perkins Jr.-trained colts scheduled to be active this afternoon in stakes competition.

Storm Tower, undefeated in three starts, makes his stakes debut in the second division of the Fountain of Youth, and closer to home, Bowie-based Fifty Cent Dollars, runs in the Hessian Stakes at Philadelphia Park.

"All three colts are lightly raced and face more experienced opposition. But they are training well, and we expect good performances," said Ben Perkins Sr., father of the trainer and manager of the large outfit.

Laurel-based Rick Wilson rides both Perkins' horses in Florida. Tony Black is named on Fifty Cent Dollars at Philadelphia Park.

Maryland fans will be able to bet only on the second division of the Fountain of Youth at Laurel, which is simulcast as the 12th race, although the full Gulfstream card is available at the Charles Town (W.Va.) Races and Delaware Park.

The Perkinses have been busy mapping campaigns for the horses.

"There are so many races available for 3-year-olds on the East Coast, and we'd like to keep them apart if we can," the elder Perkins said.

Woods of Windsor was almost on a flight to New York earlier this week, but when the Fountain of Youth was split, Perkins decided to put him in the entries.

Depending on how the horses run, Woods of Windsor could go either in the March 20 Florida Derby or head to Aqueduct and start in the Gotham Stakes on March 27 and the Wood Memorial on April 17.

Storm Tower is probably headed for the Florida Derby, and Fifty Cent Dollars could make his next start at Laurel in the Private Terms Stakes on March 13.

Woods of Windsor recently prepped for the Fountain of Youth by finishing second in a seven-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream Park. It was his first start since he won the Maryland Juvenile Championship at Laurel on Dec. 5.

"He was eliminated at the start when another horse slammed into him and knocked him sideways," Perkins said. "He had to play catch-up, but still ran a good race."

In the Fountain of Youth, he faces a more experienced runner in Silver of Silver, winner last fall of the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct and the promising Phipps Stable colt Very Personal.

Storm Tower drew into the tougher division of the Fountain of Youth and meets It'sal'knownfact, runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, as well as stakes winners Great Navigator, Pride of Burkaan and Awad. Maryland-bred Awad, owned by Jim Ryan of Mount Airy, is considered better on turf but was recently third on the dirt in the Palm Beach Stakes.

Adelaide Riggs, 84, owner of Woods Of Windsor, won't be at Gulfstream to see her horse run.

She has been hospitalized in Baltimore this winter but is making an excellent recovery. She is expected to return home to her Happy Retreat Farm in Woodbine next week.

NOTES: There was all sorts of precipitation at East Coast racetracks yesterday. About 4 inches of snow blanketed Laurel Race Course and forced management to cancel the card. The track is expected to be open today. . . . Meanwhile, it was raining at Gulfstream Park. Ben Perkins Sr. said he didn't think either Woods of Windsor or Storm Tower, who recently won on a sloppy surface, would have trouble handling a wet track.

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