'Wire Me' connects in Hoover Stakes Favorite sets track record for 5 1/2 furlongs at Laurel

Laurel notebook

January 26, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

It isn't going to be easy to handle Wire Me Collect in the $250,000 General George Handicap, the feature race of Laurel Park's winter meeting.

He proved that yesterday, shaving two-fifths of a second off the track record for 5 1/2 furlongs while winning the $53,575 Hoover Stakes as the odds-on choice.

"We think he'll be a little better horse going longer, seven-eighths to a mile," trainer Bob Camac said. "This was his prep for the General George [run at 7 furlongs]."

Under jockey Rick Wilson for the first time, Wire Me Collect finished the distance in 1 minute, 2 4/5 seconds to beat the 2-year-old record of 1: 03 1/5 set by Game Quoit, who, at age 7, finished fifth in yesterday's race.

Wire Me Collect had to beat a tough campaigner in Manage a Buck, who had won the Northern Wolf Stakes in his previous outing, beating entries such as Original Gray and Romano Gucci.

"How fast do you have to run to win a race?" said Manage a Buck's rider, Mario Pino, who had three wins on the card. "My horse ran super. He was rating just where I wanted to be.

"I thought I had a chance at the top of the lane, but the other horse was just too much."

Manage a Buck took second by a half-length from Get My Glitter, who set rapid early fractions.

Wire Me Collect received a year's rest after his 3-year-old campaign and came back to win twice in nine starts with three seconds and two thirds last year. He has earned nearly $350,000 in his career.

"He's unbelievable," Wilson said. "The last 70 yards, he really turned up the speed."

Simulcast update

The Maryland Jockey Club hopes to begin a new simulcast schedule next month under a now-tentative agreement with Cloverleaf Enterprises, Inc., operator of Rosecroft Raceway.

But there are still snags, most notably approval of the thoroughbred horsemen and breeders' groups.

"We're very hopeful it's going to work out in the next week to 10 days," said Jim Mango, chief administrative officer of the Jockey Club. "But it just seems like everybody is settling back waiting for something to happen."

MJC officials met with the horsemen, but no vote was forthcoming.

The boards of directors of the horsemen and breeders are scheduled to discuss the matter this week.

"A tremendous amount of work has gone into this, and we believe there are a lot of benefits to running your own facilities and having tellers for thoroughbred wagers at night," Mango said.

"So we're concerned about going back to the same issue [division of night-time thoroughbred revenue]. We just have to keep trying."

Et cetera

Jockey Carlos Marquez will continue riding pending a hearing after appealing a five-day suspension. Jockey Larry Reynolds canceled his mounts yesterday because of illness. Live racing will be held Presidents Day, Monday Feb. 16, and simulcast-only operations held two days later. A direct phone line has been created for the Pony Pals Kids Club from which fans can receive information on tours, special days and entertainment. The number is 301-470-5699. Sixty new members toured the barn area yesterday.

Pub Date: 1/26/98

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