'Kip' is Dash favorite after record N.Y. run Angelos' Jove Stone tops local De Francis entrants

July 16, 1998|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Kelly Kip, who shattered a track record in New York in his last race, heads a field of seven sprinters Saturday in the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park.

Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, Kelly Kip sizzled six furlongs in 1 minute, 8 1/5 seconds in winning the Grade III Finger Lakes Breeders' Cup on June 20 at Finger Lakes racetrack in upstate New York. He clipped three-fifths of a second off the track record.

By comparison, the fastest six furlongs in eight runnings of the De Francis Dash is 1: 08 3/5 seconds (Housebuster in 1991 and Montbrook in 1993) -- although some track surfaces are faster than others.

A winner of 10 of 21 starts, the 4-year-old Kelly Kip is by far the most accomplished horse among the De Francis Dash entrants. He has earned $720,797. The local runner Wise Dusty, 7, has earned the second most, $468,382 -- and that's in 23 more races.

Laurel Park oddsmaker Clem Florio anointed Kelly Kip the early 2-1 favorite. Affirmed Success, Florio's 3-1 second choice, finished two lengths behind Kelly Kip in the race at Finger Lakes.

The top local entrant is Peter Angelos' Jove Stone, a winner of four of his past five starts -- all in Maryland. Dick Dutrow trains Jove Stove. He has won two of the eight De Francis Dashes with Lite The Fuse in 1995 and 1996.

Wise Dusty, trained at Bowie by Wayne Bailey, finished second in last year's Dash behind Smoke Glacken, winner of an Eclipse award as the nation's top sprinter.

The 4-1 third choice is Partner's Hero, trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Pat Day. The trainer Billy Cesare has sent two top sprinters, Heckofaralph and Thunder Breeze, who ran one-two June 20 in the $300,000 six-furlong Miami Beach Handicap at Calder Race Course.

Although the De Francis Dash is the highlight Saturday -- as well as the highlight of summer racing in Maryland -- Saturday's program at Laurel Park features three other stakes: the $100,000 Straight Deal Breeders' Cup, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, and two $40,000 5 1/2 -furlong dashes for 2-year-olds, the Primer and Toddler Stakes.

Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash

When: Saturday

Where: Laurel Park

Purse: $300,000

Grade: II

Distance: 6 furlongs

The field

P, Horse, Trainer, Jockey, Wt., Odds

1, Wise Dusty, Wayne Bailey, Oscar Mancilla, 114 20-1

2, Heckofaralph, Billy Cesare, Javier Velez, 123 9-2

3, Affirmed Success, Richard Schosberg, Jorge Chavez, 114 3-1

4, Jove Stone, Richard Dutrow, Edgar Prado, 114 6-1

5, Kelly Kip, H. Allen Jerkens, Jean-Luc Samyn, 121 2-1

6, Thunder Breeze, Billy Cesare, Jose Ferrer, 114 8-1

7, Partner's Hero, D. Wayne Lukas, Pat Day, 114 4-1

Pub Date: 7/16/98

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