Mighty Magee stuns Annapolis Stakes field Beats Algar by 1 1/4 lengths

favored 'Twist' finishes 6th

November 26, 1995|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Oliver's Twist was dull, so Mighty Magee stole the show and the race.

Left alone up front to set slow fractions, Mighty Magee had plenty left through the lane yesterday and won the $75,000 Annapolis Stakes at Laurel Park.

The 3-year-old son of Cormorant held off the late charge of Algar, prevailing by 1 1/4 lengths over the 1 1/8 -mile route.

It was a reprieve of sorts for Mighty Magee, who almost went on the market after taking the Sir Barton Stakes and Broad Brush Stakes at Pimlico.

"The owners [Allan Spath and partners] were talking about selling this horse, and he went into the [sales] catalog," said trainer Leon Blusiewicz. "But I really wanted to change their minds, and so I did a whole lot of talking. They took him out of the sale, and here he is a winner."

Mighty Magee led at every pole, running a quarter-mile in a leisurely 24 2/5 seconds, the half in 48 4/5 and six furlongs in 1:13 1/5.

That tempo was a bane to the rest of the field.

"The pace was my problem," said Edgar Prado, who rode runner-up Algar, owner of a three-race winning streak before yesterday. "With a little more pace up there, we could have been closer. My horse can run with these."

Added Frank Douglas, who was up on third-place My Manuscript: "At the start, he just lunged out of there [the gate] in the air. I don't think that kept him from winning though. It was the pace."

Oliver's Twist's regular rider, Alberto Delgado, offered no such reason for the 2-to-1 favorite's inability to get into contention. The Preakness runner-up finished sixth.

"It wasn't the pace or any other excuse like that," said Delgado. "I'm very disappointed in this horse today. He can do better than that."

Oliver's Twist had run well since being eased in the Ohio Derby June 17, his first race after the Preakness. In his previous outing, he was a solid second to My Manuscript in the Governors' Cup at Laurel.

Winning jockey Greg Hutton described Mighty Magee as "a real good mover. He's such a wonderful horse."

NOTE: Jockey Mario Pino's streak of four straight stakes victories was broken yesterday at Aqueduct, where long shot Meadow Lad was well beaten in the $250,000 added New York Racing Association Mile. Pino had compiled his recent streak at Laurel. Flying Chevron won the Grade I event under Robbie Davis.

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