Richie The Coach out-runs field

LAUREL NOTEBOOK

November 27, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

The last time Richie The Coach ran, Oct. 30, he laid off the pace set by Ameri Valay and never caught up, losing the Walter Haight Handicap by 3 1/4 lengths.

Yesterday at Laurel Park, jockey Joe Rocco made sure there would be no rerun of that race.

Rocco took the 3-year-old gelding into a commanding lead out of the gate and Richie The Coach rolled to a lopsided victory over eight rivals in the $75,000 Annapolis Stakes.

Time for the 1 1/8 miles over the dirt was 1 minute, 49 2/5 seconds.

JTC "He went to the lead real easy," said Rocco. "He was just galloping around out there before I set him down for the stretch. He ran real well and won easy."

No other horse in the race had the speed to challenge Milton P. Higgins' charge, so he had plenty of energy left when Rocco put him into a serious drive.

Richie The Coach has profited from some time off after faring poorly in two out-of-state stakes events.

"We sent him to the farm to mature. He was growing at the time," said trainer Donald Barr. "When he came back, he was a different horse.

The favorite, Richie The Coach finished 4 1/4 lengths in front of Say Capp, the longest shot in the race who battled hard to hold off Looming by a neck for second.

Owner Oliver Goldsmith said Say Capp was cut on his hind leg while finishing eighth in the Northern Dancer Stakes during his last start.

"We took him home and had it cut out," said Goldsmith. "After a few days, I saw he was getting sound. We decided to try him in here, but I don't think he's at the top of his game yet. I don't these horse would have bean him if he was."

Looming finished seventh in the Preakness as part of a Robert Meyerhoff entry with Concern, The Breeders' Cup Classic champion.

He hasn't been close to the winner's circle since, but jockey Larry Reynolds said the horse ran "real good and didn't have any excuse. If the winner hadn't been in this race, I don't know."

Richie The Coach earned $45,000 for the victory, his fifth in 18 career starts. His lifetime earnings top $120,000.

No winners

Nobody hit all seven winners in the National Best Seven yesterday. Those with six of seven received $209.25 for a 50-cent wager, including seven bettors in Maryland.

The winning combination (including scratches) was 1/7/9/2,5/6/2,5,6/5, with Richie The Coach the second horse in the combo.

Other victors were Lilly Capote in the Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs, Flying Donna in the R. A. Kirchberg Memorial Handicap at Beulah Park, Booker in the Cavalier Stakes at Hawthorne, Jambalaya Jazz in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill, The Vid in the Tropical Turf Handicap at Calder and Slewker in the Hillsdale Mile at Bay Meadows.

Miscellaneous

Rosecroft Raceway has announced a purse increase of $25,000 weekly. According to director of racing William Perkins III, minimum purses for bottom-level claimers are set at $1,900, for top-class pacers at $10,000, for trotters at $7,500 and for pacing mares at $5,500. The increase was made possible by more betting opportunities, including the ability of the track to sell its signal outside the state and the response of Maryland fans to out-of-state simulcasts at Rosecroft. . . . Jockey Steve Hamilton took off all his Laurel mounts yesterday.

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