Scratch mars Dixie win for 'Creek'

May 21, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

The latest turf duel between Lure and Paradise Creek was on the marquee for the $150,000 Early Times Dixie Stakes at Pimlico Race Course yesterday, but a late scratch commanded all the attention.

When local trainer Dick Small pulled Dancing Douglas from the race several hours before post time, leaving a five-horse field, it meant that the $1 million bonus awarded to the horse with the highest point total in the three-race Early Times series had been negated.

According to the rules, the bonus is awarded only if the three races draw at least six entries.

That was perhaps a crushing blow to the connections of Paradise Creek, who remained unbeaten in five starts this year by overtaking his rival by three-quarters of a length to win the Grade II race.

The victory gave Paradise Creek the first two legs of the three-race series which concludes with the Early Times Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day.

A win or a second in New York would have wrapped up the bonus for owner Masayuki Nishiyama.

Paradise Creek's trainer Bill Mott said he was informed by racing officials about the situation two hours before post time.

"It was an unfortunate thing really," said Mott. "If I had known that two weeks ago, maybe we would have altered out plans. I'm dTC glad we were here and that it turned out the way it did. I wouldn't normally run him back in two weeks. With the $1 million bonus, there was added incentive."

Fourstars Allstar was scratched earlier in the day, leaving six entries. Then Small scratched Dancing Douglas.

"The scratch was due to the horse not receiving Lasix," said track vice president John Mooney. "He [Small] went over to the [Lasix] barn and was dissatisfied that the stall wasn't prepared.

"So, he took the horse back to his barn and apparently didn't allow enough time for him to be treated."

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