Jorgie Stover repays Glenn with victory in Md. Million Sprint

17-1 shot nips `Honor'

jockeys Dunkelberger, Dominguez each win 2

October 14, 2001|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

It's not against the law to fall in love with your horse. In fact, it's required when the horse is Jorgie Stover, and you're a sentimental sort like James Glenn.

With tears welling in his eyes, Glenn, a retired food broker from Monkton, stood in the winner's circle after the Maryland Million Sprint and described his love affair with the 3-year-old colt.

Glenn bred Jorgie Stover in partnership with Country Life Farm. The foal was sickly at birth, Glenn said; he almost died. After winning his fight for life, he stood up; he had a club foot. Later, he suffered from an eye infection.

"He just had a real tough time as a little guy," Glenn said.

Once he made the races, Jorgie Stover was claimed twice from Glenn. The first time, Glenn promptly claimed him back. The second time he went to dinner with trainer John Alecci, who had claimed the colt, and struck a deal. They became partners in P & J Stable, owner of Jorgie Stover.

Yesterday, Jorgie Stover, as only a horse who tries with all his heart can do, rewarded Glenn tenfold for his love and devotion.

"This is the highlight," Glenn said, referring to his 10 years in the horse business. "Nothing comes close."

Jorgie Stover, a Maryland-bred son of Press Card, charged from eighth in the six-furlong sprint to nip the front-running In C C's Honor. At odds of 17-1, Jorgie Stover received little backing outside his inner circle.

Alecci said that before the race he told his jockey, Michael McCarthy: "He'll give you everything he's got, this horse." After the race, Alecci said: "Today he gave everything he had."

Sweepstakes, Lassie

Ramon Dominguez and Travis Dunkelberger, two of the three winningest jockeys in the country, each won two Maryland Million races.

Dominguez won the Sweepstakes with Docent and the Lassie with Night Breeze. Last year, in his first Maryland Million, the 24-year-old jockey won three. His two-year total of five places him seventh among leading Maryland Million jockeys. Edgar Prado heads the list with 16.

A Pennsylvania-bred son of Waquoit, Docent provided Kevin Boniface his first Maryland Million win as a trainer on his own. Boniface has become the trainer at Bonita Farm, taking over for his father, Bill, who has officially retired. Yet Bill Boniface, a founder of the Maryland Million, remains active in all aspects of the farm's operation." `Retired' is not a word to use when describing Bill Boniface,' " Kevin Boniface said.

In the Lassie, Dominguez piloted Night Breeze to a gate-to-wire victory for trainer H. Graham Motion. The pair teamed up to win the Lassie last year with Your Out.

Motion trained Night Breeze's dam, Silent Greeting. She presented him his first victory in New York, he said, a triumph over My Flag, going a mile at Aqueduct. Motion watched Night Breeze grow up at Lazy Lane Farms in Virginia.

Joe Albritton, who owns Lazy Lane, accepted the trophy as owner and breeder of Night Breeze, a Virginia-bred son of Two Punch, in the infield winner's circle, site of every Maryland Million presentation.

Last time Albritton accepted a trophy there was 1991 when Lazy Lane's Hansel won the Preakness.

Oaks, Ladies

After winning his first Maryland Million race with Along Came Mary in the Oaks, Dunkelberger said: "The first of many." It didn't take him long to keep his word. He won the next race, the Ladies, with Stal Quest.

Asked whether he was getting into the Maryland Million spirit, Dunkelberger said: "I like the money."

A New York-bred son of Citidancer, Along Came Mary won for her New York trainer, H. James Bond, and New York owner Gerald A. Nielsen. The 3-year-old filly also won for her goat, Goatee.

Ever since she learned to race on the farm, the high-strung Along Came Mary found comfort in her constant companion, Goatee, a black and white goat with - you guessed it - a goatee. Several times the filly's handlers have tried to wean her from the goat. It never worked. After winning this stakes, Along Came Mary doesn't have to worry anymore about losing her friend.

"I think at this point we'll leave the goat," Nielsen said.

In the Ladies, Dunkelberger steered Stal Quest, a Maryland-bred son of Norquestor, to an easy victory for her trainer, Dale Capuano, and owner, Costas Triantafilos. Triantafilos owns Costas Inn on North Point Boulevard in Dundalk.

"I've been in the [horse] business for 17 years, and always my dream was to win a Maryland Million race," the jubilant Triantafilos said. "Now my dream is to win another one."

Distaff Handicap

Case of the Blues rallied six-wide from far back under Mario Pino to win the Distaff Handicap for her trainer, Tony Dutrow, and owners, Lou Rehak and Willie White.

A Maryland-bred daughter of In Case, the 4-year-old filly has won eight of 21 races from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. She is small, popular and tough as nails.

"I'll tell you, she's awesome," Pino said. "She has such a quick move for a little filly. It just blows my mind."

Turf

The winner's circle swelled after the speedy Elberton, a Maryland-bred son of Perfecting, won the Turf.

His trainer, Luigi Gino, and jockey, Alberto Delgado, celebrated their strategy of sending Elberton to the lead. And the many residents/relatives of Elberton Hill Farm in Darlington, from where the gray gelding got his name, celebrated as only Hopkinses can.

The others

Blazing Colors, a Virginia-bred son of Valley Crossing, provided trainer King T. Leatherbury his seventh Maryland Million winner, but first in five years, in the Handicap. Leatherbury moved to within one of leading Maryland Million trainer Bill Boniface.

A Pennsylvania-bred son of Rakeen, Pal's Partner at 14-1 captured the Nursery for his New Jersey owner and Pennsylvania trainer and jockey. And Belle Visage, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of the gallant Horatius, snared the Distaff Starter Handicap for her Pennsylvania and New Jersey connections.

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