Ameri Valay proves speedster

April 10, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

No one caught the speed horse yesterday.

Ameri Valay started fast and finished strong yesterday to win the running of the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap by 4 3/4 lengths over Greatsilverfleet at Pimlico Race Course.

Ameri Valay, ridden by Alberto Delgado, was part of a two-horse entry trained by King Leatherbury. The other half, Super Memory, finished third.

"My instructions from Mr. Leatherbury were to make the lead," said Delgado. "I knew that we were faster than the others and that we could get the lead."

Ameri Valay, a 5-year-old, went off as a 3-2 choice and built a three-length lead over highly regarded Greatsilverfleet entering the stretch.

Greatsilverfleet, a 4-year-old colt with sprinter's speed, couldn't gain on Ameri Valay and eventually lost ground at the finish line.

"I knew we had the advantage," said Leatherbury. "We had the speed horse, Ameri Valay, inside the other speed horse, Greatsilverfleet, and I knew if those two hooked up, then that would set it up for Super Memory."

Edgar Prado rode Greatsilverfleet and had high expectations based on the colt's first- or second-place finishes in four of his five previous starts for trainer Dale Capuano.

Also, the second-place finisher has won stakes races in Maryland and Arkansas. The colt captured the Annapolis Stakes at Laurel and the Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park.

Greatsilverfleet, an 8-5 choice, carried a race-high 118 pounds in the six-horse field.

But the day belonged to Ameri Valay, the Maryland-bred son of Carnivalay who had lifetime earnings over $485,000.

"We'll continue to nominate him to local stakes," said Leatherbury. "We're looking at the Jennings Handicap [April 23] as his next start."

Ameri Valay, owned by Elaine Bassford, has 12 victories in 45 lifetime starts, including the Northern Dancer Handicap in 1992 and the Native Dancer Handicap in 1993.

Klinger wins three races

Omar Klinger rode three winners yesterday to top all jockeys at Pimlico during the 11-race card.

Klinger started the day by guiding Alice At Clark to a first-place finish by 12 lengths in the first race, was triumphant in the third race aboard Today's Appeal, and completed the run with a victory aboard Bunny's Live Wire in the seventh race.

Racing Oddity

In a true racing oddity, full brothers, 5-year-old Today's Appeal and 4-year-old Mighty Red, finished one-two in the third race yesterday.

The sons of Mighty Appealing and Today's Woman are trained by Dean Gaudet and owned by Israel Cohen.

Graded stakes-winning filly Mixed Appeal, also owned by Cohen and trained by Gaudet, is a full sister to Today's Appeal and Mighty Red.

Wilson gets victory

Veteran jockey Rick Wilson, who had been sidelined for several weeks with a leg injury, returned to the winner's circle yesterday aboard Calipha in the eighth race.

Wilson was injured when the wind blew a truck door shut on his leg.

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