Wire Me Collect romps in feature Duel with co-favorite Viv fails to materialize

Laurel Notebook

November 24, 1997|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Wire Me Collect had hooked up with Viv twice since August with each beating the other and neither winning the race.

The rubber match came yesterday in the $75,000 Lite The Fuse '' Stakes at Laurel Park, and Wire Me Collect scored a resounding triumph.

Arthur Appleton's colt had the stretch run to himself and pulled away to win by 3 1/2 lengths over a surprisingly stubborn long shot, Willing to Cope.

"I thought I might have more competition coming home," said winning jockey Mike McCarthy, the leading rider at the recently concluded Delaware Park meeting.

The reference was obviously to co-favorite Viv, who laid well back in the pack under Edgar Prado for most of the six-furlong affair before rallying for third ahead of the fading Wise Dusty.

It was the second straight victory for Wire Me Collect, who was coming off an easy score in the $125,000 Hudson Stakes at Belmont Park. His lifetime earnings are nearing $300,000.

"We've had a lot of bad luck, a lot of seconds with this horse," said trainer Bob Camac. "He's really coming into hand right now. I think the cold weather helps him a lot."

Camac said Wire Me Collect may return here or go to New York for his next outing. "I think he has a big winter ahead of him," the trainer pointed out.

"He's a pleasure to train, consistent and willing. He always tries his best."

The surprise in the race was 31-to-1 shot Willing to Cope, who carried his speed into the deep stretch and outgunned the highly respected Wise Dusty, who won the Laurel Dash last time out.

McCarthy had no trouble putting him away, however, after stalking just off a quick pace set by Willing to Cope and Wise Dusty.

All quiet in simulcast feud

The harness interests in the feud over simulcast revenue "haven't heard a thing" about the resumption of negotiations, according to Gerry Brittingham.

Brittingham, president of Cloverleaf Enterprises, Inc., which operates Rosecroft Raceway, said it is too early to judge the effects of the shutdown of thoroughbred simulcasting at night at the harness track in Prince George's County.

"People don't adjust immediately to a change like this, and it takes a longer period than a week to analyze what's happening," he said.

With the expiration of the "facilities use" agreement Nov. 15, televised harness racing to the thoroughbred tracks during the day and thoroughbred simulcasts to the harness plant at night ceased.

Rosecroft wants 70 percent of the revenue from the night thoroughbred telecasts; the thoroughbreds are offering 65 percent.

Et cetera

Laurel racing on Thanksgiving Day will feature the traditional pie giveaway for the first 7,000 customers (and the first 2,000 at Pimlico) and free coffee, cider and donuts for early arrivals. Post time will be 11: 05 a.m. One of harness racing's all-time stars, Niatross, will appear at Dover Downs on Sunday in conjunction with the Matron Stakes.

Pub Date: 11/24/97

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