Drying track speeds Cosmo Topper in romp Heavy favorite captures Jameela Stakes by 6 1/4

January 25, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The numbers clearly suggested that Cosmo Topper was the horse to beat in yesterday's $60,000 Jameela Stakes at Laurel Park.

The question was whether the bay filly could handle an off track, a surface she had trouble with in the Maryland Million Lassie.

But she didn't have to answer that one. With the track drying out, the going was fast after all-night rains abated, and Cosmo Topper drew off to an easy 6 1/4 -length victory, her fourth win in six lifetime starts.

Heavily favored, Cosmo Topper returned $3.60 to win after going six furlongs in 1 minute, 13 seconds.

"She broke good for her," said winning jockey Greg Hutton after Cosmo Topper started from the inside post. "But I had to hustle her up a little to get her into position."

Once Cosmo Topper took the lead entering the stretch, it was all over. Long shot Rammer, who finished second, tried hard but couldn't make a race of it.

"That filly that won is very legitimate," said Rammer's jockey, Steve Hamilton. "When I asked [Rammer] to run, she gave me everything she had and proved second best."

Named after the title character in a 1950s television series and three earlier movies, Cosmo Topper was purchased for $13,500 by Morgan and Janet Wayson's Tulip Hill Farm at a 2-year-old sale at Timonium last year.

The Waysons have raced several notable runners in Maryland in the past decade, particularly multi-stakes winner Thirty Eight Go Go.

They dropped out of racing to upgrade the farm, but "now we're making a comeback to the game we love," said Wayson. "We bought all three of Hal Clagett III's horses at Timonium, and we're getting quite a return on our investment with her [Cosmo Topper] alone."

Trainer Jerry Robb said he is not pointing the filly toward any coming race but will be "looking for an easy spot." The Politely Stakes for state-bred females March 15 is a distinct possibility.

Cosmo Topper has two wins and a third in the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship when running against Maryland-bred competition.

Betting on the future

Two key organizations in horse racing's near future, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Television Games Network, have signed a letter of intent for a five-year agreement.

It calls for TVG to become a special member and top-tier sponsor of NTRA, which in turn will support TVG's market development into making home wagering legal in new states.

NTRA has announced a comprehensive plan to market and promote thoroughbred racing.

Both entities will contribute substantial financial support to a five-year national legislative fund for account wagering.

TVG has secured exclusive commitments from most of America's major tracks, including Laurel Park and Pimlico, to distribute a package of racing-based programming and wagering and is working throughout the country to gain regulatory approval for home betting.

Only seven jurisdictions in the country allow wagering with personal telephone accounts.

"It is critical to all of us to expand the group of states which allow participation from home," said TVG vice president Tom Aronson. "The racing industry won't grow significantly unless we create a legal, supportive environment in which to cultivate this new business."

The agreement is subject to the approval of NTRA's board of directors and TVG's officials.

Pub Date: 1/25/98

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