All alone, Tampico takes All Along

His top rival scratches

Belmont betting up here

Pimlico notebook

June 06, 1999|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The scratch of Spook Express made Tampico's job a whole lot easier yesterday.

With her leading rival withdrawn to run on the Belmont Park undercard and seek a 10th win in 11 outings, Tampico came from off the pace under leading jockey Edgar Prado to capture the Grade III, $100,000 All Along Stakes at Pimlico.

The margin after 1 1/8 miles on the turf course was 1 3/4 lengths over long shot Heavenly Advice. Absolutely Queen, the pacesetter much of the way, was third after tiring.

It was the 10th victory over grass for Tampico and the second graded stakes score in a row. She came into this race after romping in the Beaugap Handicap at Aqueduct May 9.

Tampico, owned by Plane Tree Farm, finished the distance in 1: 47 3/5 while increasing her lifetime bankroll to more than $400,000, almost all of it on turf.

Trainer Barclay Tagg said he received the horse from Jim McGreevey two years ago and "I ran her a couple times on turf. I thought she had enough talent to run in some small stakes.

"She wintered very well this year and I thought we would try the same type of races and we've been lucky so far. It's really important to win a graded stake with a mare of this quality."

Tampico's owners, Mr. and Mrs. Ron Cullis, have had a "huge week. We won one at Pimlico, had a second at Belmont and won at Charles Town Thursday."

Prado, who won five on Friday's card, was taking his third on yesterday's program in the feature that is part of the MATCH series.

He said Tampico warmed up well and "was on the bit the whole time in the post parade. We settled seven or eight lengths off the pace. She was all business. At the three-eighths pole, we split horses, then took aim on the leader, passed her very easily and drew off."

Belmont wagering up here

Wagering on the Belmont Stakes card showed a decided upturn in Maryland yesterday with more than $2 million going through the windows, a 28.6 percent increase over the 1998 totals.

State bettors plopped down more than $1.2 million on the Belmont, nearly a 38 percent rise. Attendance in Maryland fell at Pimlico, but rose at Laurel Park and Rosecroft Raceway, bringing an overall 2 percent increase to 18,367.

5-furlong turf mark broken

Harrimans Image broke an 8-year-old track record in yesterday's fifth race, running five furlongs on the turf in : 56 1/5.

That was one-fifth of a second faster than My Frenchman turned on May 25, 1991.

Miscellaneous

The 30-year voice of Charles Town Races, Costy Caras, hung up the mike Friday, but will continue to work as the track's oddsmaker and in the racing office. Jeff Cernik is the new announcer. Gary Stevens won three of his first eight starts in Europe. Unbeaten Hookedonthefeelin, winner of the Miss Preakness Stakes in her last outing, will probably not run in the $200,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup because of nagging shin problems.

Pub Date: 6/06/99

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