They roared down the stretch neck and neck, but, at the finish, Silent Greeting's shorter trip around the track was a little too much for favored Rare Blend yesterday.
As a result, Silent Greeting -- who broke from the inside post -- prevailed by a nose in the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Laurel Park, winning her first graded race for Lazy Lane Farms.
The Grade III event over 1 1/16 miles was shifted to a fast main track after heavy rains made the turf course unraceable. There were six scratches from the race, leaving a nine-horse field of 3-year-old fillies.
With jockey Larry Reynolds up, Silent Greeting was pressed throughout as she vied for the lead, but dug in gamely through the stretch, showing particular moxie after Rare Blend had stuck a nose in front near the 16th pole.
In the end, Rare Blend's four-wide trip was costly.
"She's [Silent Greeting's] such a game filly and she can run on anything [surface]," said trainer Graham Motion. "I'm so glad she won a graded stake."
Reynolds said he "looked back and saw Edgar [Prado on Rare Blend] parked outside of us. At the turn for home, I knew it was a two-horse race. We kind of touched a little bit and my horse beat her to the wire."
Silent Greeting is 6-for-14 lifetime and 5-for-9 this year. She ran in the Black Eyed Susan on May 17, finishing sixth.
Bright Time, the second choice in the betting, fell shortly after the wire and long shot Salubria spilled over her. None of the horses or jockeys involved was injured.
NOTES: Longtime jockey agent Charles "Sweaters" Loeffler, 87, died at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring on Friday. He will be buried Wednesday morning in Wheeling, W.Va., with a viewing Tuesday night. Among his clients during a 70-year association with jockeys were Bill Passmore and Bobby Adams. Laurel's Family Fall Festival seemed to be a success yesterday despite the raw weather. One of the highlights was the hurdle-jumping ability displayed by the Jack Russell terriers on the track between races. Numerous activities, including an area in Paddock Park for children, were designed to attract new fans to the track. Jockey Rick Wilson has drawn a five-day suspension for his ride on Shot Of Reality in the sixth race Oct. 14. He will ride in two races during his suspension period, but serve two additional days later.
Pub Date: 10/20/96