2 accidents, local win part of final day at Timonium

Two horses euthanized

Horning cheers `Captain'

Horse Racing

September 07, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Two jockeys were injured in separate incidents. Two horses were euthanized in different races. And a horse good enough to run in the Preakness last year finished next-to-last in the closing-day stakes yesterday at Timonium.

It was a bizarre conclusion to the eight days of thoroughbred racing at the state fair. An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people attended the races throughout the day, many meandering over from the fair with children.

Eight of the 10 races proceeded without incident, including the $50,000 Taking Risks Stakes that provided a feel-good story about a local family's first homebred stakes winner. Captain Chessie captured the race by four lengths, as Cherokee's Boy, eighth in last year's Preakness, struggled home fourth in the field of five at odds of 3-5.

Larry Horning Jr., trainer of the 5-year-old gelding Captain Chessie, said the victory was the first in a stakes by a horse bred by his family. Horning's father, Larry Sr., nicknamed Poppy, bought the dam of Captain Chessie in 1987 as a yearling at Keeneland. He named her Poppy's Passion, after his passion for horse racing. Horning Sr. died in 1991.

Poppy's Passion won two of three races at Laurel Park before a series of broken bones in her right foreleg forced her retirement. Her hard luck continued on the farm as three of her foals died, Horning Jr. said. But Captain Chessie, the product of Poppy's Passion's mating with nine-time stakes winner Summer Squall, survived and flourished, although he's had his problems, too, the trainer said.

"It's been a nightmare," Horning Jr. said. "But a day like this makes it all worthwhile."

Captain Chessie earned $30,000 to increase his bankroll to $197,325. He's finished first or second in 15 of 27 races. He paid $10.40 to win after controlling the pace and thwarting a mid-race challenge from Cherokee's Boy.

Two races earlier, the seventh, a horse flipped over backward in the paddock and crushed jockey Kaymarie Kreidel against a stall wall. As medics looked after her and awaited an ambulance, the race began. As the field rounded the final turn in front of the fans, Gotta Have Asingle, a 3-year-old gelding, fell, tossing his jockey Eric Rodriguez to the ground. The cheering crowd gasped.

Gotta Have Asingle shattered his left front ankle. He was euthanized on the track. In the fourth race, Worldwidetestimony, a 5-year-old horse, didn't fall but also broke his left front ankle. He was vanned off and then euthanized.

Rodriguez, Gotta Have Asingle's rider, and Kreidel were transported in separate ambulances to the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Kreidel suffered a broken fibula in her right leg, said Anthony Aguirre, her husband. Rodriguez broke no bones but complained of a sore back, said Paul Plymire, his agent. Both jockeys were treated and released.

NOTES: Rodriguez and Eric Camacho tied for the jockeys' title at Timonium with 12 wins apiece. Gary Capuano and Ken Cox tied for the trainers' crown with four wins each. ... The jockey Christian Olmo, injured Friday in a spill, was released Sunday from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. ... Timonium's betting figures will be released later this week. ... Pimlico opens Thursday. ... Making his first start for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel and his 22nd overall, Toccet finished second yesterday in a $60,000 allowance-optional-claiming race at Saratoga. For his first 21 races the 4-year-old Toccet was trained by John Scanlan, stabled at Laurel Park. Toccet won two Grade I stakes as a 2-year-old.

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