'Woods' is out, but Raglan Road paved with local Belmont dreams HORSE RACING

May 23, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

It looks as if Marylanders will have a rooting interest in the Belmont Stakes.

Maryland-bred Woods of Windsor is going to bypass the race in favor of the June 19 Ohio Derby.

But Pimlico-based trainer Leon Blusiewicz is planning to run Raglan Road, winner of the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard, in the June 5 classic. In the Sir Barton, Raglan Road, owned by Paul Fitzpatrick of Plantation, Fla., beat Premier Commander by a length.

"What I'm hoping is that my horse is peaking, when the others are coming back [tailing off]," Blusiewicz said. "I'm going to try them while my horse is on the improve."

Raglan Road was one of three horses -- the others were Senor Speedy and Prairie Bayou -- to come from off the pace and win on the Preakness card. "Every jock that rides him says he wants a distance of ground. He's bred to get the 1 1/2 -mile Belmont distance," Blusiewicz said.

Previously the Deputy Minister colt, who is out of a sister to champion Heartlight No. One, was third in the Federico Tesio and Woodlawn stakes.

Chris McCarron rode Raglan Road in the Sir Barton, but is committed to ride in California on Belmont Stakes day. Blusiewicz hopes to line up either Gary Stevens, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness on Personal Hope, or Julie Krone, to ride the horse.

Raglan Road is scheduled to work six furlongs today at Pimlico and could ship to Belmont Park as early as tomorrow.

The Belmont Stakes field is expected to include Preakness winner Prairie Bayou, Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero, Cherokee Run, El Bakan, Kissin' Kris and Arinthod, a French colt recently purchased by diet guru Jenny Craig from the stable of ailing trainer Francois Boutin.

Other possible starters include Bull inthe Heather and horses such as Colonial Miner that could run well at Belmont today in the Peter Pan Stakes.

'Woods' ships to Monmouth

Adelaide Riggs' Woods of Windsor, sixth in the Preakness, came out of the race with a bruised hip after being alternately slammed by Rockamundo and Cherokee Run during the running of the race, said Dr. Mike Cavey, Riggs' partner and adviser.

"But he seems to be OK now, although he was stiff and sore for a couple of days," Cavey said. "He'll ship today to Monmouth Park and from there we'll decide where we go. It will probably be the Ohio Derby. The timing is perfect. It gives him a month to

recover from the Preakness."

Riggs' Wild Zone also is Monmouth-bound and probably will run next in a 3-year-old sprint stakes at Atlantic City. The horse finished second to the older Goldminer's Dream in his 1993 debut at Pimlico Thursday. It turned into quite a race, especially for a mid-week card. In the race, Wild Zone set the early fractions, but Goldminer's Dream prevailed by a half-length, setting a track record for five furlongs in 56 4/5 seconds.

Both horses could meet again in the De Francis Dash this summer.

Preakness fallout

Here are some random thoughts the week after Preakness 118:

* Pimlico management deserves kudos for a.) treatment of out-of-town owners who had Preakness and Pimlico Special starters and b.) the smoothness of the day's logistical operations.

Said Martha Miller, wife of Sea Hero's trainer Mack Miller: "Our stay in Maryland was a real time to remember -- you all sure know how to roll out the red carpet."

Added Bruce Levine, trainer of also-ran Koluctoo Jimmy Al: "It was a nerve-racking treat."

* Although the Preakness card, with six stakes, was something special, the card for the Black-Eyed Susan needs improvement. There were four maiden races on the card and the full-card simulcasts from Belmont Park, Churchill Downs and Hollywood Park were yanked.

Next year "we'll have the simulcasts," said track operator Joe De Francis.

Lenny Hale, vice president of racing, said: "It was my first Preakness. All in all I was pleased with the entire Preakness Week schedule. There were 103 horses competing in the 11 stakes. But there is always room for improvement. The maiden special weight race for that day [Black-Eyed Susan] was split three ways. I thought it was better to have a third maiden special than the other option, which was a low-priced claimer. But if it needs fixing, we'll fix it."

* Driving to Pimlico on Preakness Day, you already felt you were at the track listening to WBAL Radio coverage from Chick Lang and crew. They didn't miss a thing.

* By being run on the same card as the Preakness, the Pimlico Special got lost in the shuffle. It might have pleased ABC-TV executives, but few others.

Last year, when the Pimlico Special was run the Saturday before the Preakness, Pimlico handled $2,851,845 on 12 races. This year on that Saturday card, which featured the Pimlico Distaff, the track handled $2,148,823, including full-card simulcasts from three out-of-state tracks.

It translates into almost a 25 percent business decrease.

* The first Pimlico Pick-Six, comprised of the six Pimlico stakes on Preakness Day, was an equine success although a business flop. It needs more promotion. Only about $66,000 was bet into the Pick-Six pool. The winning horses presented quite an array of talent -- Carney's Kid (Maryland Million Handicap), Raglan Road (Sir Barton Stakes), Root Boy (Never Bend Handicap), Senor Speedy (Maryland Budweiser Breeders' Cup Handicap), Devil His Due (Pimlico Special) and Prairie Bayou (Preakness). The winning numbers were 2-5-5-1-3-3 and paid $9,512.20 for a $2 wager.

* Bloodstock agents are beating a path to the door of trainer Bill Donovan and his wife, Donna, whose filly Jacody, finished a strong third in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

The filly's next two planned starts are the Post-Deb Stakes and Monmouth Oaks at Monmouth Park.

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