Testafly serves notice, powers to stakes win

Victory first since July, comes after 6 months off

June 21, 1999|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Testafly marked his return to the winner's circle yesterday with an explosive, overpowering, 12-length victory in the closing-day stakes at Pimlico, the Grade III $200,000 Baltimore Breeders' Cup Handicap.

This was Testafly's first win since July. Since then, his reputation was besmirched and his Laurel-based trainer, Dale Mills, fined and suspended 45 days in a controversy involving the drug clenbuterol, which is legal for training but not for racing. Mills denied ever giving his horse the drug.

Testafly entered the 1 1/8-mile Baltimore Breeders' Cup, a race he won last year -- also in the slop -- off a six-month layoff. One of his owners, J. D. Brown, said Testafly raced too often last year.

"We won't make that mistake again," Brown said. "This horse is going to be phenomenal this year. We're not going to duck anybody. Let the racing public know: Testafly is back."

Laurel promotions

When Laurel Park opens Wednesday, grandstand admission and the Laurel program will be free. Excluding tobacco and alcoholic products, food and drink items will cost $1.

On Saturday, Laurel customers dressed as a "Star Wars" character will be admitted free and can compete in a "Star Wars" costume contest. On Sunday, Pony Pals members can pose for a free picture with a life-size Yoda model. The model will be given away in a drawing at the track. Also Sunday, Blinkers, the Pony Pals mascot, will conduct a "Stars Wars" T-shirt and hat toss.

Et cetera

Local jockey Mario Pino won five of the first six races yesterday. Edgar Prado will participate Friday in the All-Star Jockey Challenge at Lone Star Park in Texas. Featuring the top jockeys in the country, the event will be televised beginning at 11: 30 p.m. Friday on ESPN2. Patrick Byrne, the Kentucky-based trainer, will judge the 65th Maryland Horse Breeders Association yearling show Sunday at the Timonium fairgrounds. Parking and admission are free. The show begins at 10 a.m.

Pub Date: 6/21/99

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