Md. Moon eclipses pack in Find

Pimlico notebook

August 22, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Maryland Moon has made his reputation as a superior grass runner.

But yesterday he showed his versatility and proved that under the right circumstances and facing state-bred company, he is also capable of winning stakes on the dirt.

With some help from his pace-stalking stablemate, Howard's Halo, the 4-year-old colt, swept from off the pace under Larry Reynolds and beat another turf specialist, Neoptolemus, who was once a $12,000 claimer on the dirt, by a length in the $75,000 Find Handicap.

Seven of the eight grass horses entered in the stakes at Pimlico Race Course showed up for the race.

The Find was switched from the turf to the main track because 1 1/2 inches of rain fell on the grass course Friday night.

"When I walked the course at 6:30 a.m., it was too soft," said track superintendent John Passero. "We've run a lot of races on it and I thought it would mark it up too much if we raced over it."

Maryland Moon was cross-entered in the Longfellow Handicap at Monmouth Park and trainer Larry Murray considered running him there. The Monmouth race stayed on the grass and was eventually won by 8-1 shot First and Only.

"But I thought this [the Find] was an easier spot, even though it was on the dirt," Murray said.

Albert Delgado took the lead in the Find on Aaron's Halo, but much to his consternation, he was pressed for most of the way by Murray's other runner, Howard's Halo.

The Murray strategy worked. The pair of "Halos" wore each other out and set up the race for Maryland Moon's winning rally. Delgado thought that the pressure from Howard's Halo cost him the race although Aaron's Halo hung on well for third.

The victory by Maryland Moon was the fifth stakes win this year for his owners, Sondra and Howard Bender.

Turner gets stiff penalty

The Pimlico stewards slapped a stiff suspension yesterday on jockey Tommy Turner, suspending him for 20 days for what they termed "extremely careless" riding last Thursday on Allens Star in the ninth race.

The stewards said that Turner's actions caused two other horses and their riders, Santos Chavez and Gilberto Delgado, to fall.

The stewards added that "the tapes [of the race] clearly indicated carelessness on the part of Turner." They also noted that they had previously warned Turner on other occasions about "the same type of carelessness."

Turner is suspended today through Sept. 10.

Cambridge OTB opening

About 140 bettors wagered $7,332 at the Friday night opening of the state's newest off-track betting parlor in Cambridge.

Currently the Eastern Shore facility only takes wagers on Standardbred races. Ted Snell, president of Rosecroft/Delmarva Downs harness tracks, said he expects volume to eventually reach about $15,000 a night "and probably $15,000 to $20,000 on the thoroughbreds when they start up in the afternoons [after the Timonium meet, which begins next Saturday]."

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