Material Boy weaves Primer win

August 07, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

In his home state of Florida and at Philadelphia Park, The Material Boy launched his racing career by competing at distances usually reserved for quarterhorses.

The experience served the gray colt well yesterday at Pimlico when The Material Boy came blazing out of the gate on the rail, led all the way and went on to a three-quarter-length victory over fast-closing Spanish Halo in the $50,000-added Primer Breeders' Cup Stakes.

"He's really fast," said jockey Mark Johnston, who rode The Material Boy for his third win on the card. "He broke well, fast out of the gate like a quarterhorse. It was really important being in the one hole."

Johnston credited trainer J. Edwin Salzman with having the horse sharp for a race filled with speedy 2-year-olds.

"We went right to the lead and had plenty left for the finish," said the rider. "You don't get many trips easier than that."

Salzman's father, John Sr., said the horse "has problems -- splints -- but nothing seems to hurt him. He's a game son of a gun."

The Material Boy bucked and lost his jockey in his maiden start, a 3-furlong event at Hialeah in April. Almost a month later in Philadelphia, he stumbled at the start but still prevailed by three lengths over a 2-furlong distance.

Two weeks ago at Laurel, he hit the starting gate but still ran on the lead for most of a 5 1/2 -furlong chase before losing a stretch duel to Cumberland Gap (seventh yesterday) by a neck.

Bred by Dr. E.C. Hart, The Material Boy is by Prospectors Gamble, Speriamo Stable's first stakes stallion, out of Oh Say Madonna, hence the name.

The Material Boy was overlooked in the wagering, going off at 9-1 odds to return $20.40 and collect his biggest paycheck to date, $19,995.

Spanish Halo, with Jeff Carle up, made a determined charge at the end, but he couldn't catch the winner until after the wire when they brushed.

"He ran super. When this horse starts running longer, look out," said Carle of the Buddy Delp-trained Spanish Halo, a son of Sunny's Halo.

Five Alarm, carrying Edgar Prado, stalked The Material Boy most of the way but couldn't seriously challenge him.

Jockey Steve Hamilton said Sam's Quest, the favorite, "lost some ground early and basically that was it. He tried hard." He was fifth.

The Material Boy completed the 5 1/2 furlongs in respectable 1:05 3/5 time.

NOTES: Johnston also accounted for both ends of the daily double when apprentice Dylan Armstrong and Lady Popoff were disqualified from the win for impeding another horse in the first race. It was Armstrong's first ride back after he served a seven-day suspension. . . . Thirty bettors correctly tabbed all seven winners in the National Best Seven yesterday, receiving $4,209.05 for a 50-cent wager. Those who picked six of seven winners earned $36.55. The winning numbers were 9-6-1-6-6-2-3. . . . De Francis Dash winner Cherokee Run will face a number of top sprinters in today's Grade III, $100,000 A Phenomenon at Saratoga. . . . Maryland-based Dinner In Rio is expected to run in today's Grade II, $250,000 Arlington Handicap in Illinois. Mario Verge, a Maryland jockey, gets the mount.

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