Acres far and away better at Laurel

3-year-old scores victory by 9 lengths in Testamony

February 14, 2000|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Acres was miles the best yesterday.

The New York invader swept to the front immediately and never yielded ground while racing to an easy nine-length victory over previously unbeaten Inner Harbour in the $75,000 Deputed Testamony Stakes at Laurel Park.

Jockey Tommy Turner, a former competitor on the Maryland circuit, flew in from Gulfstream Park for the joy ride on Acres in the 1 1/8-mile race restricted to Maryland-bred 3-year-olds.

"I heard he was a nice horse," Turner said. "But I didn't know he was going to run like that. I chirped him at the start, and he dragged me to the front. It was all over."

The victory was the second in four starts for the New Farm colt sired by Cryptoclearance, who had finished a respectable fourth after being jostled at the start in an allowance event last time out at Aqueduct.

Trainer Benjamin Perkins Jr. said Acres started slowly in that race after "having a little trouble, so we decided to put on the blinkers today. He's bred to run all day."

Acres finished the distance in a quick 1: 49 1/5 without being tested. Inner Harbour chased the entire race and held onto the place over Pickupspeed, who rallied after being left at the start.

The Deputed Testamony is named after the Maryland colt who won the 1983 Preakness. His trainer, J. William Boniface, made the presentation to Acres' connections in the winner's circle yesterday.

`Special' increase

The purse for this year's Pimlico Special is being raised from $500,000 to $750,000.

Wayne Wright, executive secretary of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, said the group "felt an increase" in the purse of this year's Pimlico Special "is appropriate under the circumstances."

The circumstances for the $750,000 event bode for a wide-open race with no real dominators among older handicap horses this year. In 1999, Real Quiet and Free House were clearly superior and hooked up at Pimlico for the top share of a $500,000 purse.

The Pimlico Special is one leg of the five-race "NTRA Champions on Fox" series for older horses that is offering a $5 million bonus to the horse that can win them all and a $1 million pot for winning three. The series began last week with Stephen Got Even taking the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park and continues in March with the Santa Anita Handicap.

As much as $1 million has constituted the purse for the Special, which has been having trouble attracting large fields recently because dominant horses have scared off possible entrants. Maryland Jockey Club officials requested the increase.

Et cetera

Two horses worked out at Belmont Park in preparation for next Monday's Grade II General George Stakes, with Black Cash going a handy half-mile in 47 3/5 and Falkenburg breezing the same distance in 48 3/5. The stewards granted a stay of jockey Alcibiades Cortez's five-day suspension pending a hearing. The 2000 Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship series has reached the final planning stages without participation from Penn National and Philadelphia Park. It will mean an increase in races from Charles Town and Delaware Park. Poor Jimmy's, the beleaguered off-track betting site in North East, has closed for a $1 million remodeling. It is scheduled to reopen July 1. Advance Kentucky Derby wagering will begin with the first of three pools Thursday through Sunday. A minimum bet of $2 is required with no refunds if the horse fails to start in the Derby on May 6.

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