'Howbad' capitalizes on entry into Dash Colt slips in at 45-to-1, holds off 'Soldier' by neck

November 04, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The first concern was getting into the race; the second was the outside post position.

Both worries were rendered moot by Howbaddoyouwantit's tenacity yesterday in the Grade III, $100,000 Laurel Dash, the Election Day feature at Laurel Park.

Overlooked by the bettors, the shipper from Delaware helped establish blistering fractions, then determinedly staved off a charge by favored Soldier Field for a well-earned neck victory in the six-furlong dash on the turf.

Despite a 3-for-5 record on grass, Howbaddoyouwantit went off at 45-to-1 odds and returned a whopping $100.60 for a $2 win bet, setting up a $315 exacta payoff and a $7,302.60 return in the triple.

"We were sweating it out this morning at 10," said winning trainer Ben Perkins Jr. "We were on the alternate list with the lowest earnings and didn't think we'd get in."

The Rahy colt not only got in, he broke smartly to race an old rival, Citislipper, for command through breaks of 24 1/5 and 44 3/5 before Citislipper gave way as they surged into the lane. But it wasn't over yet.

Here came Soldier Field, a 4-to-5 choice of the public, on a mission from fourth place. Coming wide, he flew into contention with a 16th to go and closed steadily. But Howbaddoyouwantit got to the wire first in a stakes-record 1: 08 3/5.

Victorious jockey Dale Beckner said Rick Wilson -- aboard Soldier Field -- "came at me going past the first finish line [the clubhouse wire was used in the race], but from there my horse just gutted it out and dug in to get there first. I had a lot of horse, but I didn't get too confident because I felt Rick would be coming late."

Beckner said he was happy when he learned he was going to ride in the race because, "I've been waiting two years to ride this horse in the afternoon. I've been on him several times in the morning. And this is my first win since returning from an injury."

Howbaddoyouwantit, out of Fair to the Wind by Nijinsky II, has solid turf breeding and is showing it. His maturation has been slow, but by next spring should be a major factor on the turf circuit.

NOTE: Advance wagering on the Breeders' Cup program will start tomorrow at Laurel Park and at all of the state's other outlets.

The entire card will be shown live Saturday, with Laurel shifting its first live post to 11: 15 a.m. The first Breeders' Cup race is set for 1: 25.

Pub Date: 11/04/98

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