Looming rushes toward preps

February 27, 1994|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

Looming passed a minor stakes test with ease at Laurel Race Course yesterday and might be headed for more important Triple Crown preps in Kentucky.

"He was supposed to win," said jockey Andrea Seefeldt about the stylish Robert Meyerhoff homebred, who was sent off the 3-5 favorite in the six-horse field and won the Herat Stakes by two lengths. "But I thought he ran impressively. He was awesome."

Seefeldt, who has been riding at Oaklawn Park, made her second appearance of the winter at Laurel, rushing up from last place on the backside after she gave the horse "a little nudge." She caught pacesetter Prince of Royalty, a recent $25,000 claim by Arnold Heft, in the last eighth of a mile, and drew off for the score.

The time of 1 minute, 53 seconds for the nine furlongs was not particularly fast, but Looming had not run in two months and was never hit by Seefeldt until she tapped him lightly near the finish to keep him from drifting.

Dick Small, the horse's trainer, said from his winter base in Hot Springs, Ark., last night that he is inclined to run Looming in a pair of rich races in Florence, Ky., at Turfway Park -- the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial on March 19 and the $600,000 Jim Beam Stakes on April 2.

The stakes schedule for the spring Pimlico meet, which begins March 29, has not been released yet, which Small said "makes it a little hard" to chart a possible Maryland campaign.

Vice president of racing Lenny Hale said the schedule has yet to be approved by the state racing commission, but said there is an upcoming series of races for 3-year-olds at Laurel and Pimlico that would suit Looming.

The series includes a $30,000 open race for 3-year-olds on March 20 at Laurel, followed by the $50,000 Private Terms Stakes at Pimlico on April 2 and the $150,000 Federico Tesio Stakes on April 23.

Seefeldt has been principally riding the half dozen Meyerhoff horses that Small has at Oaklawn, although she won the feature on Friday with Jaggery John for trainer Peter Vestal. "She has also been working a lot of horses and riding some for Tom Bohannan [trainer of double Preakness-winning Loblolly Stable]," Small said.

Seefeldt will ride the Small-trained Bless Me Twice in the Notches Trace Stakes at Laurel today before heading back to Oaklawn in midweek. Small rides Fabio Arguello Jr. on Concern today in the $40,000 Old Rosebud Stakes at Oaklawn. The 3-year-old colt is another one of Meyherhoff's Triple Crown prospects. Like Looming, he is a son of Meyerhoff's former Maryland champion, Broad Brush.

Quick return for Mixed Appeal

A week ago Mixed Appeal ran the best race of her life and led wire-to-wire to win the Grade II $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap. More than a few local horsemen were startled yesterday when she came right back in seven days and ran in a $25,000 Laurel allowance race. She failed to make the lead, being outrun by Peter Angelos' Cormorant's Flight. But she finished second, beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Double Sixes, a half sister of Devil's Orchid, the 1991 Barbara Fritchie runner-up.

Miscellaneous

Looming could meet another Maryland-based Triple Crown prospect in the Battaglia Memorial at Turfway on March 19. That's undefeated Can't Be Denied, who is scheduled for a rematch against Run Alden on Friday night in the $50,000 Cherry Hill Mile at Garden State Park. . . . Heft's Prince of Royalty seems to make a fine addition to the 3-year-old ranks in the Jerry Robb stable. Robb also trains Run Alden. . . . While Small is at Oaklawn, his Pimlico-based stable is being run by Brenda Jordan. . . . Looming is the second Laurel stakes winner that Jordan saddled for owner Meyerhoff in a week. His Broad Gains won the Bishop's Ring Stakes on the Feb. 19 Barbara Fritchie card.

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