`Money' proves worth in Miracle Wood

Rested colt ends 3-race run of Marciano, gets 2nd win

January 28, 2001|By Pete Bielski | Pete Bielski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The outside post is not a preferred position when racing around two turns at Laurel Park.

But yesterday, trainer John Scanlan didn't care about the disadvantages. He just wanted a place to stick his valuable and lightly raced 3-year-old Talk Is Money.

The last three times he tried to race his $1.8 million horse, odd occurrences prevented the colt from running. Last month, Talk is Money flipped while loading into Post No. 3 and was scratched. The next week, he got sick and was scratched. Then the following week, a snowstorm canceled the races, including his.

So yesterday's quick exit from Post No. 8 was relief for Scanlan, Talk is Money and absentee owner Daniel Borislow. The running was the easy part. Talk Is Money, a 3-to-2 co-favorite, ran away from Marciano in the stretch to win by a length in the $50,000 Miracle Wood Stakes for 3-year-olds. He paid $5 and finished a wind-blown 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.96. Mario Verge did the riding.

"Considering he flipped last time they loaded him, I thought to myself, `[Post No.] 8, this is good,' " Scanlan said. "Frankly, I didn't care if they loaded him in the grandstand. I just wanted to see him run."

The victory boosts Talk Is Money's lifetime record to 2-for-2 and his earnings to $49,100, a long way from his purchase price. The Kentucky-bred son of Deputy Minister beat maidens by 10 lengths in his six-furlong Laurel debut Dec. 16.

Still, his victory in the Miracle Wood was meaningful to Scanlan in two ways: First, the horse proved he could race around two turns; and second, Talk Is Money stopped the three-race winning streak of Marciano.

"I think I sent this horse out a little short," Scanlan said. "I figured I have a real good horse here, and I may have trained him a little light. You need to do more with a good horse."

Marylanders should get used to seeing Scanlan. The 50-year-old from Philadelphia has moved much of his 110-horse stable to Laurel, where he leased the luxury barn built by former Giant Food owner Israel Cohen. He said he made a five-year commitment to Laurel management to stable and train in Maryland.

Owner Borislow, from West Palm Beach, Fla., has spent almost $25 million purchasing horses the past three years, Scanlan said. The Borislow-Scanlan partnership will be headquartered in Laurel.

"This is one of the best race tracks in the country," Scanlan said of his decision to base here. "I've seen a lot horses come to Maryland with problems, then the problems disappear. ... Hey, if they have to win five or six at Laurel, then go somewhere else, so be it. That's the route we'll take."

As for Talk Is Money, Scanlan said he is unsure of the future, but mentioned the Florida Derby, Santa Anita Derby and the Lone Star Derby in Texas as possibilities.

Also on yesterday's card, 6-year-old Do I Ever upset the field in the $50,000 Native Dance Stakes. Trained by Bessie Gruwell, Do I Ever got his first-ever stakes victory. He paid $22. He upset favored Ewer All Wet, who had a win streak stopped at three. Harry Vega was the winning rider.

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