Bright start sparks Foyt Sparkler Timonium notebook

August 29, 1993|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

Foyt Sparkler had just turned in a sparkler and was returning to the winner's circle after the feature race at Timonium yesterday.

Owner David Syzmanski walked onto the track and gave the 5-year-old gray gelding a kiss on the side of the head.

"I always give my horses a kiss, even if they don't win," explained Syzmanski, who owns 13 horses. "But this one was special."

The purse was only $6,000 in the starter-allowance race, but it was an impressive victory for Foyt Sparkler, who sped to the front under Austreberto Salazar and drew away by four lengths as the second choice in a field of seven.

He negotiated the four furlongs in a brisk 46 seconds. "All we were concerned about was that he broke well and he did," said trainer Richard Simoff, who added that Salazar was contracted to ride because "we like the bug."

Bidding Up, the King Leatherbury-trained gelding who last ran in $27,000 allowance company, was third, overtaken by Motivated by Money in the final jump.

Syzmanski's string is based in Lewisville, Pa., just across the line from Fair Hill. He competes regularly at Delaware Park, but has been shipping into Maryland lately.

He said he will run Foyt Sparkler "back at Pimlico and someday he'll be my fox hunter. This is the first time he has run at a half-mile track."

Attendance melts

Yesterday's intense heat was the apparent reason the turnout and handle were off considerably despite a 12-race program that included two simulcasts from Saratoga.

A crowd of 6,921 wagered $650,675 on the first of Timonium's 10 days. The handle was more than $200,000 down from last year's $862,047.

Castillo wins two

Freddy Castillo captured the jockey's title at Timonium as an apprentice last year, riding 16 winners among 54 mounts.

Although he no longer carries the bug allowance, Castillo jumped to a fast start yesterday with two winners and two seconds in his first four races.

Castillo scored consecutively with Too Classy ($19.60) in the third and favored Like A Rock ($3.20) in the fourth.

Last year's leading trainer, Jerry Robb, was shut out in four starts.

Alma nominations

Thirty-two fillies and mares have been nominated to the $40,000 Alma North Handicap, the Timonium meet's top race.

The probable favorite for the 1 1/16-mile event on Saturday is Orme Wilson's Ritchie Trail.

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