Debut handle not bad, DeFrancis says Laurel president thinks bettors need time to adjust to new day

November 12, 1993|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

Laurel-Pimlico president Joe De Francis was not discouraged by the track's handle on the first Wednesday of live racing this fall.

"We did about $1 million in state and I thought that was good, considering that the same Wednesday last year was Veterans Day," said De Francis. "It was a relevant start.

"What you have to compare is what we did recently with simulcasts on Wednesday and live racing Sunday and the live card Wednesday and Sunday simulcasts we're now running. The total gross business is about equal."

De Francis and Tim Capps, vice president of communications, said it is premature to make any definitive judgments about how the shift is working.

"People take a little while to get into adjusting themselves," said Capps. "They didn't get up thinking that there was live racing this Wednesday. They're not in sync yet."

Lea Carter wins Moonlight Jig

Lea Carter, an improving filly who has hit the board in all seven of her 1993 starts, defeated multiple stakes winner Cormorant's Flight to win the first running of the $26,500 Moonlight Jig Stakes yesterday.

Trained by Billy Turner of Seattle Slew fame, Lea Carter completed seven furlongs in 1:24 2/5 under jockey Mario Pino to capture her fourth victory of the year.

Cormorant's Flight was a game second in her first start since June 13.

In the co-feature, another overnight stakes, Andrea Seefeldt guided Punch Line to his sixth triumph in 12 lifetime starts.

Miscellaneous

De Francis said he continues to explore Loudoun County as a track site if he is awarded the bid from the Virginia Racing Commission, but "at this point there is nothing definitive." . . . Trainer Bill Donovan has moved his stable from Maryland to Gulfstream Park in Miami for the winter. Twenty-two Donovan horses have been taken to Florida from the Pimlico headquarters. . . . Christy Grimes of Laurel scored her first victory in the Amateur Riders Club of the Americas series, taking the second race aboard long shot Brilliant Display ($34). She overtook the front-running favorite, Bad Boy Willy, in the final few strides of the 1 1/16-mile event and won by a nose. . . . Maryland-based stakes winners Asserche and Reggae are scheduled to run in today's turf feature at Aqueduct. The field also includes Baron De Vaux, who ran in the 1990 Preakness, finished third in the Belmont that year and campaigned regularly in this state. . . . Edgar Prado was winless on eight mounts, including five favorites.

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