Looming upset in Tesio Stakes

April 24, 1994|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

The Robert Meyerhoff stable lost a heart-breaker in Maryland yesterday, but scored a major triumph in Arkansas.

Meyerhoff's 3-year-old Triple Crown nominee Looming came from 20 lengths off the pace, but after making his breathtaking late run at Pimlico Race Course, was beaten by a nose by 23-1 long shot Silver Profile in the $154,500 Federico Tesio Stakes.

Then Looming, the even-money favorite, was disqualified and placed last for causing also-ran Wise Judgement to take up sharply approaching the final turn. The stewards posted an inquiry concerning the matter immediately after the horses crossed the finish line.

Looming's jockey, Andrea Seefeldt, claimed foul against Silver Profile for interference near the wire after she saw the inquiry sign posted. But her objection was disallowed by the judges.

Less than a half-hour later at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., disappointment for the Meyerhoff stable turned into big-time success when Meyerhoff-owned Concern, another Triple Crown nominee, rallied from last place and won the $500,000 Arkansas Derby under jockey Garrett Gomez.

L Concern was a 19-1 long shot and paid $43.40, $14 and $6.20.

Tesio winner Silver Profile paid $48.40, $16.60 and $10.40.

Meyerhoff's trainer, Dick Small, who was at Oaklawn with Concern, said neither that colt nor Looming will run in the May 7 Kentucky Derby, although the Preakness on May 21 is a possibility for both colts.

"Both of these are nice horses," Small said. "But I'm not going back to the Derby unless I have a horse as good as Broad Brush."

That Small-trained Meyerhoff colt finished third in the 1986 Kentucky Derby behind Ferdinand and Bold Arrangement and is the sire of both Concern and Looming.

"You've got to be realistic about the Derby," Small said. "You only go if you have a chance to win. There are three or four top colts this year and I'm not going just to run in the race, especially when you have to pay just to see your horse run. I just don't think either one of these horses fits."

Small praised Gomez's ride in the Arkansas Derby.

"Normally, he's a jockey that rides a lot of front-runners," Small said. "But he's been watching how Andrea has handled our horses and he rode Concern perfectly."

After trailing by 15 lengths after a half-mile and 10 lengths after three-quarters, Gomez made a big move on the outside in the stretch. Concern covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 48 seconds.

"I told him the horse was going to kick in like a son of a gun," Small said.

Said Gomez: "Once I decided that he hadn't used himself in the early going, I just let him run his race as Mr. Small had instructed me to do. In about the middle of the last turn, I started moving on him and he gave me a big effort from that point on."

Small said he had yet to discuss the Tesio with Seefeldt.

"I don't know what happened, but Mr. Meyerhoff [who was at Pimlico] didn't seem that upset about it," Small said. "These things happen."

The Tesio was a rough-run race for many of the competitors.

Seefeldt acknowledged that she had bothered Wise Judgement.

"But that kind of stuff happens in the back of the pack every day," she said. "I've been the receiver of this kind of incident countless times and when I've made an objection, nothing was done."

The incident occurred when Seefeldt began her rally from last and was rounding the final turn. She came between horses on the turn, then rallied four horses wide at the top of the stretch.

"She jostled the eight horse [Wise Judgement] pretty good," said steward John Heisler. "Then she didn't put a hold on the race or make an objection [against Silver Profile] until after she saw the inquiry sign light up."

Seefeldt caught Takeitlikeman inside the final sixteenth and was in front until Silver Profile rallied on the outside and beat her a nose. Takeitlikeaman was another nose farther back in third.

"I made my move too soon," Seefeldt said. "This is a one-run horse. He was tired at the sixteenth pole and I was surprised he held on as well as he did. He hung on for second with just pure heart."

Run Alden, the second choice, had his head twisted at the start and broke poorly and didn't come close to making the lead.

"I was slammed by another horse [Justalittleshower] near the three-eighths pole, and then he didn't do any running after that," said jockey Donnie Miller Jr.

The horse finished eighth in the nine-horse field.

The winner, Silver Profile, is owned and trained by well-known trainer Vinnie Blengs.

"Vinnie fell in love with this horse at a sale in Florida last year and bought him for himself," said Wayne Harrison, a friend of Blengs'. "He thought the horse would do well in longer races."

Blengs was in Florida yesterday at a 2-year-old auction.

Silver Profile ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51 2/5 and earned first-place money of $90,000. It was the horse's first stakes start, although Blengs thought enough of the colt to nominate him earlier this year to the Triple Crown.

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