`Mountain' turns back Hands On in Stryker

Two stage 3-way race with Thiruvengadam

Horse Racing

February 08, 2004|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Michael Gill's White Mountain Boy prevailed in a three way thriller in the $75,000 Goss L. Stryker Stakes for Maryland-bred 3-year-olds at Laurel Park yesterday.

Sent to the post as the odds-on favorite, White Mountain Boy beat rival Hands On by a half length. It was just a head back to Thiruvengadam in third.

Hands On was first away in the seven-furlong race and led White Mountain Boy to the top of the lane. The latter, under Abel Castellano Jr., launched a furious stretch drive with Thiruvengadam on his left doing the same. It appeared to be anyone's race a furlong from home, but the Meadowlake colt emerged the winner in 1 minute, 24.22 seconds.

"My horse was a little lazy today," Castellano said. "So I was going to wait until the top of the stretch and ask him to run and that's exactly what he did. The horse took off and just kept going. He never stopped and responded when he heard those other two horses coming."

Rodrigo Madrigal, who rode Hands On, said, "I got a perfect trip with the horse. I got a nice, easy lead and did the best I could to make him relax. He gave me every last drop he had in him all the way to the wire."

White Mountain Boy paid $3.60 as the 4-5 choice and remains undefeated in four starts, including three stakes.

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