Stellar Brush, Bursting Forth take long way to wins

Maryland horses capture Ohio Derby, Del.'s Dick

July 25, 1999|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

On a hot and muggy Saturday perfect for getting out of town, Maryland-based horses did just that and scored stakes victories in Ohio and Delaware.

In the Grade II $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown in North Randall, Ohio, Stellar Brush roared from 10th in a field of 13 and claimed a neck victory over Kentucky Derby graduate Ecton Park. Richard W. Small trains Stellar Brush at Pimlico for the colt's owner and breeder, Robert E. Meyerhoff.

Stellar Brush beat not only Ecton Park, whom trainer Elliott Walden touted this spring over stablemate Menifee, but also Valhol and Grits'n Hard Toast. Valhol finished first in the Arkansas Derby but was disqualified (the stewards ruled his jockey carried a "buzzer"), and Grits'n Hard Toast won the Holy Bull Stakes in January and the Iowa Derby earlier this month.

A Maryland-bred son of Broad Brush (who won the 1986 Ohio Derby) and Dynamic Star, Stellar Brush earned $180,000 and became eligible for the $1 Million DeBartolo Racing Challenge. A horse that sweeps the Ohio Derby, Remington Park Derby on Sept. 5 and Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Oct. 2 receives a $1 million bonus. Small said he wasn't sure whether Stellar Brush would try for the prize.

"We couldn't be more pleased," Small said in the winner's circle. "We were lucky to have [jockey] Michael McCarthy give up some good rides at Delaware Park to come here."

Said McCarthy: "Our horse was a little excited before the race because I think he just wanted to get in and get it over with. He settled nicely after he broke from the gate and responded when I needed him."

Stellar Brush paid $9.60 to win and completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 49 1/5 seconds. Ecton Park, the 2-1 favorite, finished second and Valhol third. Pettit's Quest, trained by Linda Albert at Bowie, finished seventh. Millions, trained by Leon Blusiewicz at Pimlico, was eased and did not finish.

At Delaware Park in Stanton, Bursting Forth charged from seventh to capture the $150,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup by a half length.

H. Graham Motion trains the 5-year-old mare at Laurel Park for her owner Sam Huff, the former NFL great. Edgar Prado rode the winner, who ran 1 3/8 miles on turf in 2: 19 2/5.

"The leaders were going real slow," Prado said. "At about the three-eighths pole they started riding. I was fortunate to find a hole, and when she found that hole, she really took off."

Bursting Forth paid $7 to win. The 12-1 Maria's Tiara, trained by John C. Friedman at Bowie, finished second, and Adrian third.

Also at Delaware Park, the Woodbine-based 3-year-old filly Brushed Halory -- sired by Broad Brush, same as Stellar Brush -- won the Grade III $250,000 Delaware Oaks, returning $10.80 to win. Gold From The West finished second, and Queen's Word third.

Golden Temper, the 2-5 favorite trained by Elliott Walden and ridden by Pat Day, finished last in the field of five. "No excuse," Day said.

In the other stakes at Delaware Park, the Michael Dickinson-trained Demons Cloud won the $50,000 Pipe Creek, and Jazz Club, ridden by Day and trained at Belmont Park by Neil Howard, captured the $100,000 R.R.M. Carpenter Jr. Memorial.

At Belmont Park, Jerry Bailey piloted On a Soapbox to a commanding 4 1/4-length victory in the Grade I $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks.

Wire reports contributed to this article.

Pub Date: 7/25/99

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