Angelos, big spender at Orioles auction, knows how to make buy at track, too

August 08, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Overnight, Peter G. Angelos went from a low-profile Maryland thoroughbred owner to an instant sports celebrity when he became the new majority owner of the Orioles.

Even though the Baltimore lawyer bid $173 million for the team, he has not had the reputation as a big spender in the horse business.

He purchased his most successful runner, Cormorant's Flight, privately for a reported $17,500. It was an astute buy. The filly is a multiple stakes winner and has earned more than $150,000.

"It's good to see that he is getting some nice horses," said Matthew Kern, who along with his wife, Deane, boards most of Angelos' horses at Marathon South Training Center in Hydes.

Deane Kern's father is Harry Strovel, Angelos' longtime friend and bloodstock adviser.

Angelos has owned horses about 10 years, races under the name Marathon Farm and has had a succession of trainers ranging from Peter Pizzurro to Tom Garry to J. B. Secor. He has about a half-dozen runners at Pimlico with Tom Caviness.

Kern said Angelos keeps 13 horses, including five broodmares, with him at his Baltimore County farm. The mares are in foal to such stallions as Proud Truth, Northern Wolf and Val Reef.

Cormorant's Flight, who did all of her winning with trainer Ron Cartwright, is now being rested on the farm. She won several local stakes, then set the pace in the Kentucky Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, before tiring and finishing off the board.

Even when Cormorant's Flight did most of her winning at Laurel and Pimlico earlier this year, Angelos did not appear in the winner's circle, but was represented by Strovel.

Another local horse owner, Maryland Million founder Jim McKay, is among the new group of Orioles owners.

This is not the first time horse racing has been an interest of an Orioles owner. Jerry Hoffberger, who sold the team in 1979 to Edward Bennett Williams, owned jumpers and then the Sunset Hill breeding farm in Woodbine, which was auctioned last year. His son, Richard Hoffberger, is president of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

Comings and goings

You might not know it, but among the comings and goings of Maryland horse people in the last couple of weeks:

* Edgar Prado visited the Pimlico jockeys room Friday and is expected to resume riding this week. Despite being sidelined with a broken leg for several weeks, Prado ranked among the nation's 10 winningest jockeys through July 25, along with Mike Luzzi. But ahead of both of them in the standings is Wayne Barnett, the leading jockey at Charles Town who also occasionally rides at the Maryland tracks.

Maryland-based trainer Vinnie Blengs has won three races at Saratoga and is among the top five trainers at the Spa.

* Trainer Dean Gaudet is mulling over running De Francis Dash winner Montbrook in the King's Bishop Stakes on Travers Day at Saratoga or the $100,000 Summer Squall Stakes at Turfway Park. The ultimate goal: the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 6.

* When Code Blum tried older fillies and mares on opening day at Pimlico last week, she finished fifth as the favorite. But the 3-year-old filly came out of the race with a chip in her knee. Owner Harriet Finkelstein said the filly is undergoing surgery, then will get three months' rest. "We hope she's ready for Florida this winter," Finkelstein said.

* The Maryland Million probably will be looking for a new president next year. Current president Roger Schipke recently resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of Ryland Group Inc., and is immediately taking the same positions with Sunbeam-Oster Corp. in Providence, R.I.

* Lenny Hale, Pimlico/Laurel vice president of racing, is writing races at a new Pimlico distance: 1 mile, 70 yards.

* Jessie and Frannie Campitelli are running Logan's Mist today in the $75,000 Spicy Living Handicap at Rockingham Park. The filly gets a new rider: Freddy Castillo Jr.

* The Prince George's Equestrian Center at the old Marlboro racetrack in Upper Marlboro is carding a horse race tonight in conjunction with a rock concert. A field of four horses will be entered. Concert-goers who pick the winning horse are eligible for a drawing for a trip to Hawaii. Post time is 7 p.m.

* The filly Jacody was so slow as a 2-year-old last year that trainer Bill Donovan was going to leave her behind in Maryland when he took his main string to Florida for the winter. But after he equipped the filly with blinkers, she woke up dramatically.

Now the double-graded stakes winner takes on Sky Beauty on Saturday at Saratoga in the $500,000 Alabama Stakes, which is being billed as "the race of the meet." Jacody, who normally runs on Lasix, won't be able to race on the medication there.

* Timonium opens for training Aug. 16. There will be no whole-card simulcasting or inter-track wagering during the 10-day meet that begins Aug. 28.

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