Mythical Gem gives Motion consolation at Pimlico

Trainer loses in N.Y., wins here

Antley gets mount


June 01, 1999|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Trainer Graham Motion went to Belmont Park yesterday to saddle Bursting Forth for the Sheepshead Bay Handicap and didn't experience much luck.

But back home at Pimlico, another of his trainees, Mythical Gem, was romping to an easy victory.

The chestnut colt by Jade Hunter out of Charlotte Augusta controlled the $50,000 Honor Guard Stakes from the first jump and went on to score by six lengths without being under serious pressure.

Jockey Mario Verge brought Mythical Gem home in 1: 49 4/5 for the 1 1/8-mile distance on the turf, easily holding off the late rally of Middleworth Bay.

"He broke running," Verge said. "I was just a passenger. This was his best race yet."

The betting public obviously liked his chances. As they broke, Mythical Gem was listed as a 9-to-5 choice, but when all the simulcasting money had been totaled, he dropped to even money as they raced down the backstretch.

It was the third straight victory for Mythical Gem, the last two on the turf, bumping his lifetime earnings above $56,000.

Assistant trainer Adrian Rolls said Mythical Gem "is getting stronger and stronger with each race. Dirt, turf, whatever. The world is his oyster."

Bursting Forth was on the other end in New York, running last in a six-horse field.

Antley to ride `Charm'

Trainer Bob Baffert said Chris Antley will replace Gary Stevens in the saddle when Silver Charm runs in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 12.

Stevens has gone to England to start an overseas career.

Silver Charm is owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis, the same ownership for whom Antley has worked in Charismatic's bid for the Triple Crown.

"Antley's been looking pretty good in those green and yellow silks," Baffert said from Churchill Downs. "We're going to try to keep it going."

Local Belmont treat

Maryland racing fans will receive a few treats on Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday as Charismatic goes for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.

At Pimlico, patrons will receive free grandstand admission, a free live Pimlico program that will include the Belmont, and $1 Pepsi products and $1 hot dogs.

Simulcasting will begin at 10: 45 a.m. Saturday.

Pub Date: 6/01/99

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