Who Wouldn't wins 4th straight

January 15, 1995|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

Few horses peak at the age of 6, but Who Wouldn't showed he's at the height of his career yesterday when he edged former glamour colt Storm Tower by a head in the $54,700 Northern Wolf Stakes.

Always a gutsy if somewhat unsound campaigner, the Baederwood gelding has now put together a four-race winning streak at Laurel Park, earning nearly $100,000 in the last eight weeks for owners Milton Higgins III and Tom Bowman.

"He's never been in a position to do this before," Bowman said as the horse's trainer, Donald Barr, reeled off a list of the animal's infirmities -- a chipped knee, a fractured splint bone and pulled ligaments -- all now healed.

"Physically, he's the best he's ever been," said Barr, who has managed the horse's career with great care. Who Wouldn't is entering his fourth year of competition and has made a spare 27 starts.

Yesterday's victory occurred after a dramatic duel in the last furlong with Storm Tower. Joe Rocco, aboard Who Wouldn't, said he underestimated Storm Tower's grit. "I thought he was done and I pulled out and went wide with my horse [at the top of the stretch]," Rocco said. "I think we would have won by more, except that once my horse made the lead, he hung."

Storm Tower fought back, giving up grudgingly. He was tired after running the first five furlongs in the near-track-record time of 57 2/5 seconds, including knocking off early challenger Disaster Master.

Who Wouldn't was timed in 1:09 4/5 for the six furlongs.

Expect a rematch between the two game sprinters in the Feb. 20 General George Stakes, a $200,000 Grade II event at seven furlongs.

"I think now that he's had a race over the track we'll be in good shape to come back for the General George," said Ben Perkins Jr., Storm Tower's trainer. "It's a shame he got hooked up early with that other speed horse [Disaster Master]."


Hank Allen, who trained record-setting Northern Wolf, didn't have an entry in yesterday's stakes. But Allen is making a career comeback. He recently began acquiring a Maryland stable for New Jersey owner Ed Moore, who races as the Main Line Stable. In addition to claiming such horses as Glide Home, Vet Jet and Apparitiontofollow, Moore also recently purchased Northern Wolf's stakes-placed son, American Wolf. Moore, who has been the leading owner at Atlantic City racecourse for the last two years, still has a large string on the Pennsylvania-New Jersey circuit with J. J. Graci III. "But I'm trying to upgrade," he said. "That's why I like the Maryland program. If you claim a horse here for $25,000, you get a lot of value for your money. That's something you can't do in Philadelphia." . . . . Last year's running of the Northern Wolf Stakes was canceled because of severe weather conditions. It marked the beginning of a week of cancellations at Laurel because of ice and snow. Temperatures yesterday, however, were in the 60s.

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