R. Meyerhoff stable is on roll

December 01, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

The Robert Meyerhoff Stable struck again yesterday at Laurel Race Course.

Two of the outfit's promising 2-year-old colts, Barge In and Concern -- big, strapping fellows sired by Broad Brush -- finished just a nose apart at the head of an $18,500 overnight allowance race, which sets them up for their stakes debut around two turns in 11 days in the Maryland Juvenile Championship.

In 1986, the Meyerhoff-bred colt, Hay Halo, won the 1 1/16-mile race, and Meyerhoff-bred fillies, Star Minister and Broad Gains, have swept the distaff division for the past two years.

Now it looks as if trainer Dick Small could run as many as three colts and one filly this year in their respective divisions.

In addition to Barge In and Concern, Small could send out Looming, another Broad Brush colt out of the stakes-winning mare Native Derby, who runs tomorrow at Laurel. Another possibility is Private High, who broke his maiden last weekend at Philadelphia Park. But Small indicated yesterday that that colt might stay in the barn until he gains more experience.

The filly attempting a three-race Meyerhoff sweep is Up An Eighth. She is sired by the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner, Ferdinand, but is out of Broad Brush's half-sister, Hay High.

The Meyerhoff horses are all lightly raced and face more accomplished runners, such as the Nickel Stable's Smart'n Noble among the fillies and Andrew G. P. Hobbs' Canton River in the colt division.

But the Meyerhoff horses are bred to run a distance and just now are swinging into gear. "We hardly run them in sprints," Small said. "Why discourage them? We just wait until the distances stretch out."

Meyerhoff is reaping the benefits of breeding his mares to Broad Brush, his $2.6 million earner that is developing into a solid sire. Barge In, Concern and Looming are from his third crop. A recent analysis shows the 10-year-old stallion is siring 68 percent winners and 11 percent stakes winners.

Already Broad Brush has put two stakes winners a year into Meyerhoff's racing stable. From his first crop came Frottage and Sticks and Bricks; from his second crop, Broad Gains and Tennis Lady.

"Last year, Mr. Meyerhoff had mostly fillies. This year, it's colts," Small said. "And once again, it looks like a pretty strong group of horses."

If Barge In, Concern and Looming run well in the Juvenile Championship, there would be talk of next spring's Triple Crown.

Small isn't ready to discuss that just yet. Barge In, who was backward at first, is improving from race to race, and appears to rate a narrow edge over the more precocious Concern, whom he beat yesterday. Looming ranks just behind the top pair.

Broad Brush's success as a stallion comes as no surprise to Small. "He was just a phenomenal horse," he said about the animal that won Grade I races in both California and New York and tops all Maryland-breds in earnings. "We took him everywhere and he did everything, seldom running a bad race."

It's Pino -- again

Mario Pino said he can't remember a winning stretch quite like this. The 32-year-old jockey won his fourth Maryland stakes out of his past five tries yesterday when he piloted Smart Alec to a come-from-behind victory over Apparitiontofollow in the Dave's Friend Stakes. Pace-setter Higher Strata finished third.

In the past 10 days, Pino has won stakes aboard Gala Spinaway, Smart'n Noble, By Your Leave and now Smart Alec.

Prado's unlucky return

Maryland's leading jockey, Edgar Prado, returned to competition yesterday after he sprained his ankle in a spill last Thursday.

But he was shut out in his return. Prado won, but was disqualified and placed second in the second race after his mount, Pucker, bumped runner-up Khufu near the wire.

Prado looked like a certain winner in the Dave's Friend Stakes, but lost by a head to Pino.

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