Flashing River noses his way to victory in Cedar Key Stakes Surge at the wire beats favored Penn Fifty Three

October 27, 1997|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

A head bob at the wire was the difference yesterday as Flashing River fended off favored Penn Fifty Three to win the $53,689 Cedar Key Stakes at Laurel Park.

Penn Fifty Three, with the nation's leading rider Edgar Prado aboard, actually took the lead just before the finish but Flashing River stuck his nose in front just as they reached the camera.

With the race shifted off the grass course because of rain, Flashing River became one of only four starters from the original field of 11. He would have only run on the main track since he was 0-for-8 over turf.

Trainer Graham Motion also had a change of jockeys because Mark Johnston did not ride because of illness.

"Johnston wanted the mount on turf," Motion said. "Mario [Verge] was my original rider. So, the switch was OK."

Owned by Virginia-based Braeburn Farm Corp., Flashing River returned $5.40 straight as the second choice in the small field. He completed the 1 3/16-mile course in 1 minute, 58 4/5 seconds.

Fever sidelines Gentlemen

Hollywood Park officials said yesterday that Gentlemen will not run in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 8 because of a fever.

Gentlemen came down with a 102-degree temperature Thursday and could not make an important mile workout yesterday morning.

"It's off," trainer Richard Mandella said. "He's better today, but we've missed too much time with him."

Because Gentlemen and his sire, Robin des Bois, are not nominated to the Breeders' Cup, he would have to be supplemented to the race for $800,000, a third of which was due at noon today.

Laurel turf is off limits

Laurel vice president of racing Lenny Hale said yesterday there is no drawing yet for turf races at Laurel and a change in the weather is necessary to resume it.

"I'm not going to draw for a while, not until it stops raining and the course dries out," said Hale, who is headed for California this week for his duties on the Breeder's Cup selection committee.

Grass racing was suspended after Friday because of the condition of the course. Laurel officials hope to have it ready for the Laurel Dash on Election Day.

Pub Date: 10/27/97

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