Murdock's Leandro favored at Fair Hill

May 30, 1994|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

Mrs. Lewis C. Murdock, who campaigned the Hall of Fame jumper, Zaccio, in the early 1980s, has come up with another good steeplechaser named Leandro.

The 5-year-old Chilean-bred gelding is favored today to win the $25,000 Miles Valentine Novice Stakes at the Fair Hill Races near Elkton.

Leandro comes into the race off of three consecutive victories at Aiken, S.C., Southern Pines, N.C., and Nashville, Tenn. In his past two starts the horse set course records.

Leandro's trainer, William Cocks, said that Mrs. Murdock purchased the South American import through bloodstock agent Charles Cushman. "The horse was a graded-stakes winner on the flat in Chile and was considered one of that country's leading milers," Cocks said. "Mrs. Murdock purchased him strictly to run over jumps. He ran once last year, but didn't win. But this spring he's undefeated."

The Cocks stable is going for their second Valentine victory. The outfit won the race two years ago with Newport Hero.

Leandro's stiffest competition in the eight-horse field today is expected to come from two-time winner, Grenade and Dalton River, another Chilean import who recently broke his maiden at Nashville.

The Valentine is the featured event on the nine-race Fair Hill Card. There are three flat and six jumping races.

Post time is 1 p.m.

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