Pimlico-at-Laurel meeting shows 9 percent decline Dr. Best rallies, wins Private Terms Stakes

March 30, 1997|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Despite favorable weather, Laurel Park has shown more than a 9 percent decline in overall handle for the 25-day Pimlico-at-Laurel meeting, which will end with a simulcast day tomorrow.

"This points out that what is happening everywhere else except Maryland is starting to have an effect on us," said Jim Mango, the Maryland Jockey Club chief administrative officer.

"This is the message Joe [De Francis, Jockey Club president] is trying to deliver in Annapolis. It is becoming a trend.

"Horsemen have to be optimistic about where they're racing and they're looking toward Delaware and Charles Town. It is difficult for us to remain competitive."

Slot machine revenue has buttressed racing by more than $19 million in Delaware and soon will make inroads in West Virginia when racing resumes next month.

Figures for the period Feb. 24 through March 28 reveal a 9.26 percent drop in Laurel's main-card handle and a 9.62 decrease in the commingled out handle.

"Obviously, the fears that we had are coming true," Mango said.

Dr. Best wins

Triple Crown nominee Dr. Best rallied from seventh and won the $56,000 Private Terms Stakes for trainer Charlie Hadry Jr., whose father trained Private Terms, the 1989 Kentucky Derby favorite.

The gray colt finished the 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 49 seconds over a fast track, scoring by 2 1/2 lengths over Fearless Play.

"This one is definitely for my father, who is not in the best condition right now," said Hadry, whose father is hospitalized and scheduled to undergo surgery Friday.

The victory was the first for Dr. Best in stakes company and first since Dec. 3, when he captured a $17,500 allowance race.

"He really relaxed on the first turn," jockey Steve Hamilton said. "We got the good trip."


Edgar Prado had 194 wins during the long stand at Laurel and won the jockey's title. Dale Capuano was the leading trainer with 57 wins in 229 starts. Hamilton will begin serving a five-day suspension starting Wednesday. Baltimore County's three community colleges will have a day at the races April 19, the day of the Tesio Stakes. For information, call 410-780-6832.

Pub Date: 3/30/97

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