Clever Gem emerges victorious at Laurel

He calmly escapes pack to win Furey Memorial

July 02, 2000|By SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After a five-horse scramble for the lead, Preston Moffett's Clever Gem emerged from the pack to post a 1 1/2 -length victory in yesterday's $50,000 E. William Furey Memorial Stakes at Laurel Park.

Clever Gem is a 4-year-old son of Clever Trick. He was ridden by jockey Mario Pino for Pimlico-based trainer Mary Eppler. Clever Gem posted his second win in as many starts this year and is now seven for eight lifetime (with one third), with earnings of better than $180,000.

The winner covered the seven furlongs in 1:22 3/5 over a fast main track. Night Caller finished second, and Saratoga Cure rallied for third. Clever Gem paid $4.60 and headed a $30.20, 3-2 exacta and a $58.60, 3-2-1 trifecta.

"This horse is really awesome," Pino said. "He just does everything so relaxed. You very seldom hear a jockey say that a horse is loafing through a 3/4 time of 1:09 and change, but this horse is just so comfortable and easy to ride. Mary has done one fantastic job bringing him back."

NOTES: A total of $1,967, including a $1,000 contribution from the Maryland Jockey Club, was raised this week at Laurel Park in support of the Don MacBeth Memorial Fund. ...

Live racing continues at Laurel Park through Tuesday. Laurel Park will host a "Boardwalk Celebration" on the grandstand apron on Tuesday, featuring summertime food items and family events. The feature on Tuesday is the $100,000 Fort McHenry Handicap for older horses. First post each day is 1:30 p.m.

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