Shoop swoops to victory in Snow Goose Handicap Pezua's ride makes up for missing owner, trainer

March 24, 1996|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The owner didn't make the race. Nor did the trainer.

Shoop, however, arrived ready for action and she scored a lTC length victory over local favorite Miss Slewpy yesterday in the $100,000 Snow Goose Handicap at Laurel Park.

The victory in the Grade III event pushed the 5-year-old mare's lifetime earnings above $220,000. She has not finished worse than second in her last seven outings. Shoop ran the 1 1/8 miles in a solid 1: 49 2/5.

"I've ridden this mare and won on her and believe me, she has a ton of heart," said jockey Julio Pezua. "She really dug in and did her job today."

Game Miss Slewpy staved off even-money favorite Lotta Dancing by a head. Lotta Dancing made a determined rush from last but jockey Mike Smith lost his whip and had to hand ride her to the finish.

Cormorant's Flight set honest early fractions of 23 2/5 and 47 1/5, then was powerless when Shoop, who was tracking, swooped by.

"The winner went by me so fast it was like my horse was tied to a pole," said Edgar Prado, who rode Cormorant's Flight.

Lotta Dancing was the public choice although both Shoop and Madam Adolphe had beaten her in the Next Move Handicap two weeks ago.

Shoop's owner, Barbara Davis, is a horsewoman prominent in show ring circles. She gallops her own horses regularly.

Laurel vice president Lenny Hale saddled Shoop for Gasper Moschera, a top trainer on the New York circuit for 15 years.

Supplemented to the Snow Goose for $1,000, Shoop is now 6-for-22 lifetime.

"I was a little worried when she didn't want to go in the gate [Shoop had to be back-loaded], but I think another filly was making her nervous," said Pezua.

Slots at Charles Town?

Already assaulted by slot machines in Delaware, Maryland racing may face the problem on another front soon.

If a slots referendum comes up for a vote and passes in November, the machines will become a part of the Charles Town Races to the west.

Jefferson County voters narrowly turned down video-lottery machines two years ago, apparently as a backlash of friction with Charles Town management.

But Penn National Gaming, Inc., which owns Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania, has offered to buy the track if slots are approved.

Penn National has helped to keep struggling Charles Town afloat with financial aid.

The bill that would put slots at Maryland tracks was defeated last week and referred to summer study by the House of Delegates Ways and Means Committee.

Pub Date: 3/24/96

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