Slow-starting As Indicated wins Special

May 15, 1994|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

"The Devil" met his due in the Pimlico Special yesterday when As Indicated swept by the 5-year-old horse in the last eighth of a mile and won the $600,000 Grade I stakes in surprising come-from-behind style.

Devil His Due dragged his jockey, Wigberto Ramos, to a premature lead about two-thirds through the 1 3/16-mile race, then couldn't withstand the late charge of As Indicated.

Valley Crossing, last year's Maryland-bred Horse of the Year who was ridden by Andrea Seefeldt, finished third, a neck in front of another Maryland-based horse, Greatsilverfleet.

As Indicated, who had won five races on or near the lead, stood flat-footed in the gate at Pimlico Race Course and broke uncustomarily last for his jockey, Robbie Davis.

"When we saw that, I thought we were going to have a heck of a laundry bill," said the horse's owner, Lloyd E. Bensen.

"It took us by surprise. Normally, he's right up there. But then we saw that white face coming around the final turn and knew things would turn out all right."

Davis said that when the horse was warming up, "it felt like he wasn't really getting hold of the track like I wanted him to. So when we broke, he was slower than I wanted. When we went by the stands the first time, I thought I'd be lucky to get a piece of it."

Richard Schosberg, the horse's trainer, said that when a slow first quarter time of 24 3/5 seconds was posted, "I expected we'd be 10 lengths in front. I was shaken up because he always breaks so sharp and this is a speed-favoring track. Then he spun his wheels until the three-eighths pole. I think he showed his class today, not only by displaying his versatility, but by handling this kind of competition and the weight."

The final time was 1 minute, 55 seconds, two-fifths of a second faster than Devil His Due's winning time last year, but nearly three seconds slower than the track and stakes mark of 1:52 2/5 set in the 1991 Special by Farma Way.

It was the first Grade I victory for the horse and trainer and the second in Maryland for Davis, the leading jockey at Aqueduct last winter, who won the Washington, D.C., International at Laurel Race Course aboard Lieutenant's Lark in 1986.

Schosberg said he considered the Pimlico Special weights "borderline, since we were giving only one pound to a horse like Devil His Due that has made $2.8 million. It was 50-50 whether we'd come here. We thought about running him in the Metropolitan Mile [at Belmont Park on May 30]. But that's a straight mile, and if he'd broken there as bad as he did today, we would have never won."

Schosberg said he decided to go in the Pimlico Special when "we looked at the weights and decided the horse could deal with it. I think now he's proved he's a top-class handicap horse. A horse people can follow and an East Coast horse that can now meet the best West Coast handicap horse, The Wicked North. But I want to meet him on neutral ground, like Churchill Downs [in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 5]."

Schosberg said he plans to run the horse in the Brooklyn and Suburban handicaps at Belmont Park. "Our goal all along is to see if he's worthy of the Breeders' Cup," he said.

As Indicated was involved in a quirky incident while he was being saddled before the race. He ran backward and fell into a temporary railing set up in the outdoor saddling enclosure on the track's turf course.

"He was spooked a little bit by seeing another horse being saddled behind him," Schosberg said.

As Indicated was a slight second betting choice to Devil His Due, who went off the 1.80-1 favorite. The odds for As Indicated were 1.90-1. He paid $5.80 for a $2 win bet.

Greatsilverfleet set the early pace as expected and was joined on the first turn by Pistols and Roses.

"It was a very strange race," said Dale Capuano, trainer of Greatsilverfleet. "It was slow early, then they picked it up, then it was slow again."

Pistols and Roses shook off Greatsilverfleet down the backstretch and was in the lead until Devil His Due made his surprising move.

Ramos said he tried twice to restrain Devil His Due, "but he was hyper and was fighting me a little bit. I decided to let him go on and he did it on his own. I was afraid we were moving too soon. But despite that, I thought he finished good."

Devil His Due picked up $120,000 second-prize money, failing to push his career earnings past $3 million.

Pistols and Roses, the third choice, dueled with Devil His Due around the final turn and into the stretch.

"He put up a little fight," said jockey Mike Smith about Pistols and Roses. "But he was done by the five-sixteenths pole." The horse finished fifth in the six-horse field.

As Indicated was purchased last year by Bensen for $65,000 in a private transaction "on the day he turned 3," Schosberg said. The horse won the Gotham Stakes but, after a poor effort in last year's Wood Memorial, was kept out of the Triple Crown races.

He was brought back slowly and has won six straight races.

"It shows that patience pays off," Schosberg said.

The Pimlico Special, which was run last year on Preakness Day, was returned to its former spot on the Saturday before the Preakness. Last year betting on that Saturday declined about $1 million. Yesterday's handle on Maryland's live card was $1,828,4440, up nearly 30 percent from the corresponding date last year when the Pimlico Distaff replaced the Pimlico Special as the program feature.

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