Clash by Night holds off Connecting Terms Favorite rallies at Laurel to win Northern Dancer

November 17, 1996|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

In mid-stretch of the $100,000 Northern Dancer Stakes at Laurel Park yesterday, favored Clash by Night passed pacesetter Connecting Terms and appeared poised to win as he pleased.

Then, Clash by Night began drifting in and out and Connecting Terms turned in a second effort under Edgar Prado that started to close the gap between them.

But the wire arrived in time for Clash by Night, who held on by less than a length and collected the $60,000 winner's share.

"I was kind of worried there," said victorious jockey Steve "Cowboy" Hamilton. "Edgar was right on my flank, and he [Hamilton's horse] started to zigzag around.

"I was pretty sure we were clear, but I didn't like that."

Clash by Night was timed in 1 minute, 50 3/5 seconds for 1 1/8 miles in a race limited to Maryland-bred 3-year-olds.

From the Robert Meyerhoff stable, Clash by Night was making his first start since finishing sixth to Belmont Stakes winner Editor's Note in the Super Derby in September.

He was third to Skip Away in the Ohio Derby and third to Devil's Honor in the Pennsylvania Derby. Clash by Night was nominated to the Triple Crown series but didn't run in any of the three races.

Foolish Pole, who shipped in from Kentucky, set moderate fractions with Connecting Terms right behind him. Clash by Night was lying in mid-pack after six furlongs, then began moving on the final turn.

"He likes to come from behind, and it was kind of like the race was set up for a horse like him," Hamilton said.

While Connecting Terms continued willingly, Foolish Pole faded to finish fourth. Mixed Count, an also-ran in the Preakness this spring, rallied for third, 4 1/2 lengths behind the winner.

Meyerhoff's big purchase

Robert Meyerhoff made the biggest purchase of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale last week, when he bought Dianes Halo for $375,000, according to the Daily Racing Form.

The horse who won the Grade II La Canada Stakes last year will be bred to either Concern or Broad Brush, the headliners and biggest money winners in the Meyerhoff stable.

Maryland veterinarian Tom Bowman bought the 5-year-old Sunny's Halo mare on behalf of Meyerhoff.

Dixon funeral plans

The funeral for trainer Bill Dixon, who died Thursday at the age of 69, will be held at St. David's Church in Wayne, Pa., Tuesday at 3 p.m.

A former steeplechase rider, Dixon won the 1951 Maryland Hunt Cup aboard Jester's Moon.

On the flat tracks, he was known best for training stakes winners Festive Mood, who was second to Riva Ridge in the Laurel Futurity, and Caesar's Wish.

Dixon's father trained Polynesian, winner of the 1945 Preakness.

Jockeys off mounts

Jockeys Larry Reynolds and Greg Hutton took off their mounts yesterday after being involved in a spill Friday.

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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