Long lull keeps `Power' fresh

Sprinter finds late energy to blow past front-runner in Endless Surprise Stakes

March 12, 2000|By Pete Bielski | Pete Bielski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Patience defeated greed yesterday at Laurel Park.

By opting not to run their successful sprinter Power By Far in the glitzier and richer General George Stakes last month, the connections for the talented 5-year-old put an extra three weeks between races and had a fresh horse yesterday.

Turns out, they needed every bit of that freshness in a heated six-furlong contest.

Carrying the high weight of 122 pounds, Power By Far prevailed by a head in the $75,000 Endless Surprise Stakes. He had to fight to get past pace-setter and third-place finisher Sweep Well, then gamely out-finished fast- closer Burger Day for the $45,000 first-place check.

It was the third win in three tries at Laurel for Power By Far, who increased his career winnings to $540,000 with 15 wins in 30 starts.

"We had considered the General George briefly," said Armand Correnti, the son of trainer Anthony Correnti, who saddled the horse yesterday. "But it's tough to run this horse back so soon. I don't think we could have got him fit enough to go seven furlongs against those kind of horses that day. We needed the extra two weeks to get him ready today."

Jockey Roberto Alvarado kept Power By Far near the pace on Laurel's damp and demanding track that produced slow times all day. Sweep Well, off two impressive showings at Aqueduct, ran by far the fastest half-mile of the day and gained a two-length edge midway through the turn.

Sweep Well, with three of four lifetime wins on sloppy tracks, was able to put away long shot Chip's Pride, who faltered after a half- mile, and second-choice Changing Othguard, who stumbled along the rail in traffic. But jockey Mario Verge and Sweep Well couldn't hold off Power By Far and succumbed with about 70 yards to go.

"I was hoping for more rain," said Sweep Well's trainer, Martin Ciresa. "We ran good enough today to win at a lot of race tracks."

Power By Far ran the six furlongs in 1: 10.5. Burger Day made a strong late run, to split the two front-runners.

NOTES: A three-horse spill in the fourth race proved fatal for two of the fallen horses. The Oil Burner, a 5-year-old owned by the Joke Stables, and Jazzy Rootder Wood, a 4-year-old owned by Theodore Sanford, were put down by the track veterinarian after the race.

The collision was caused when The Oil Burner broke his right front leg at the eighth pole. He was fifth in a seven-horse field. Klingon Warrior leaped the two horses fallen to safety. None of the three jockeys involved was injured.

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