Fireside Brass no longer tarnished Gelding has golden touch in Hail Emperor Stakes

November 20, 1995|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Fireside Brass hasn't always been the most cooperative sort, but yesterday the roan gelding dutifully followed the script.

Rated nicely off the pace by jockey Mario Pino, Fireside Brass overtook the struggling speed horses in the lane, then held off a late charge by Looming to prevail in the $36,500 Hail Emperor Stakes at Laurel Park.

"As a young horse, we tried to sell him for $11,000, but nobody bought him," said Robert Beall, who trains the horse for its owner, who happens to be Mrs. Beall.

"He was hard to break, hard to work and he hurt some of the help. He'd stand there and shake like a bowl full of jelly. He was very hyper."

Fireside Brass won by a length over Looming, the Robert Meyerhoff colt who ran in the 1994 Preakness. Laughteristhekey, the longest shot in the six-horse field, was third, another 1 1/2 lengths behind.

It was the first stakes victory for the Beall charge, now 7-for-37 lifetime.

Beall couldn't pinpoint just why Fireside Brass started to shed his unruly ways but said he now "trains well and runs well. I don't know what happened, but I'm happy for it."

The anticipated speed battle between horses on the outside, Richie The Coach and Ameri Valay, provided a blistering pace and seemed to set up the race perfectly for late-running Looming.

Pino said he realized Looming "was coming. I thought he was the only horse I had to worry about. I didn't know how much horse I had left, but Looming was the only one that concerned me."

Laughteristhekey flattened out after nearly matching Fireside Brass' stride coming into the stretch.

"Wide on the final turn is about the only excuse I can make," said jockey Edgar Prado. "I got on even terms with Mario, but my horse couldn't keep up after that."

January close

Rosecroft Raceway will shut down its live racing during January and show only simulcasts from other tracks.

According to a Rosecroft spokesman, live cards will be conducted through Dec. 16, then the facility will hold only televised racing the week before Christmas.

After the holiday, Rosecroft will race live until New Year's Day, close, then reopen for Maryland cards Feb. 1.

Business is traditionally weak in January when the weather is unfavorable and bettors are recovering from holiday expenses.

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