Oblivious to signs, Bronze Abe wins Laurel's `Summer' stakes

Horse Racing

January 18, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Bronze Abe can run, and Bronze Abe can flash that showy gray, nearly white coat. But Bronze Abe can't read, and that works to her advantage.

If she could, then she would have read in the program before the What a Summer Stakes yesterday that her jockey, Eric Rodriguez, had won just one race in 36 mounts so far this year at Laurel Park. And she would have read that her name - her name - is Bronze Abe.

The 5-year-old mare with the male name carried her slumping jockey to a hard-fought victory in the $75,000 stakes for older fillies and mares.

Bronze Abe battled the entire six furlongs before prevailing by a half-length in 1 minute, 10.53 seconds. She lost the lead briefly coming out of the turn, but then surged back for her eighth win in 22 starts.

"Her heart came out the last part of it," said Bud Delp, trainer of Bronze Abe.

Sam Bayard, who lives in Delaware, owns the mare. His parents, Nancy and James, both deceased, were horsemen for whom Delp trained for four decades.

Nancy Bayard bred Bronze Abe (Two Punch-Buckles and Kinks, by Waquoit), and Delp's wife, Regina, named her. Bud Delp said in the winner's circle that his wife submitted Bronze Age, but it came back Bronze Abe from The Jockey Club.

Delp also said that Rodriguez suits the mare, despite the jockey's slow start in 2004. Referring to Rodriguez's record, Delp said, "Bronze Abe didn't know that."

Bronze Abe paid $5.80 to win, edging the game Bamba and heading a $47.40 exacta. With the even-money favorite, Gazillion, finishing third, the trifecta paid $73.20.

NOTE. Between races in the winner's circle, the Maryland Jockey Club recognized the top performers in 2003: Ramon Dominguez (winningest jockey in the state and nation), Dale Capuano (winningest trainer in the state), Tony Dutrow (local trainer with the highest winning percentage), Scott Lake (winningest trainer in the country) and Michael Gill (winningest owner and top-earning owner in the state and nation).

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