`Lonely' separates himself from field with Nursery 1st

Gelding is top 2-year-old

Fogelsonger also gets win aboard `Poker' in Sprint

Horse Racing

October 10, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

The foal was a big one, and it was a rough birth. Wantyoutowantme, the 6-year-old mare, suffered for three days until she had to be euthanized. An autopsy revealed that the foal had punctured his mother's kidney with one of his hoofs.

That foal is now a 2-year-old gelding named What's Up Lonely. And yesterday, he charged from sixth as the even-money favorite to win the six-furlong, $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery at Pimlico Race Course by 1 1/4 lengths.

Costas Triantafilos, one of the gelding's owners and owner of the Costas Inn restaurant on North Point Boulevard, pulled Cynthia McGinnes into the winner's circle to tell the story. McGinnes and her husband, Charles, owners of Thornmar Farm in Chestertown, bred What's Up Lonely. Cynthia McGinnes named him.

After his mother died, she said, she brought in a nurse mare. The mare provided milk for the foal but not motherly nurturing. The foal wandered the fields alone.

"He was always looking for attention," McGinnes said. "You couldn't help but feel sorry for him."

About that time, McGinnes was listening to a CD by Kelly Clarkson, the first "American Idol." McGinnes especially liked the song "What's Up Lonely." That's what she named the foal.

That was in 2002. The next year, the foal's sire, Allen's Prospect, died. By then, What's Up Lonely was on his way to becoming a racehorse. Triantafilos, Lou Ulman and trainer Dale Capuano had bought him as a yearling at Timonium for $62,000.

Capuano went slowly with him because he was so big. After finishing second in his first two races as a 2-year-old, What's Up Lonely has now won two straight, both impressively.

"I haven't pushed him," Capuano said. "He's done all this on his own."

Ryan Fogelsonger rode What's Up Lonely, and the jockey won a second Maryland Million race with My Poker Player in the $100,000 Sprint. A 4-year-old son of Not For Love, My Poker Player overtook two local speedsters, Crossing Point and Ameri Brilliance, for a 1 1/2 -length win. Bruce Levine trains My Poker Player at Belmont Park.

In the $100,000 Lassie, Hear Us Roar charged from sixth to run down Partners Due for a three-quarter-length victory. A 2-year-old daughter of Lion Hearted, Hear Us Roar is owned and was bred by Rosalee C. Davison, daughter of Ben Cohen, who used to own Pimlico.

"We haven't had a horse like this is so many years that I forget what it feels like," she said.

Fran Campitelli trains Hear Us Roar at Pimlico. She has won both her starts.

"When she came in, this was our goal, to win this race," Campitelli said. "It worked just that way. That doesn't happen very often in racing."

Merryland Missy, a 4-year-old daughter of Citidancer, captured the $100,000 Distaff Sprint at 15-1 odds. But she had overcome even greater odds when she was a yearling.

She contracted Potomac horse fever while growing up at Country Life Farm. Veterinarian Russ Jacobson was summoned.

"I thought she had no shot ... " Jacobson said in the winner's circle. "I didn't think she'd make it through the week."

He treated her with antibiotics and fluids and the filly pulled through.

"I think she was just born a fighter," said Val Kilby, broodmare manager at Country Life. "If not, she'd have never made it. She fought every step of the way."

Merryland Missy was born in 2001, the year the Pons family of Country Life bought Merryland Farm. She was among the first yearlings raised there.

"To expect her to win a race like this after what she went through," Kilby said, "it's a million-to-one shot."

Tim Ritchey trains the filly at Delaware Park. Jim Dresser, president of Skye Hospitality, which owns five motels in Maryland, bred Merryland Missy. She's the first stakes winner he's bred.

In the $100,000 Turf Sprint, Namequest rushed along the rail to secure the early lead, and then he zipped home at 9-1 odds to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Ben Feliciano Jr., based at Laurel, trains the 8-year-old son of Norquestor.

Feliciano used to park cars at the track along with Joseph Stone and his son, Jay. They went in to buy a horse in 1995 that launched Feliciano's career. Along with Chris Miccio, who lives in Westminster, the Stones race as Taking Risks Stable.

In the $100,000 Turf, the Maryland trifecta of Richie Blue (owner and breeder), Ann Merryman (trainer) and Mario Pino (jockey) combined to win with Dr Detroit. The 5-year-old son of Wayne County won a dramatic stretch duel by a nose at 23-1.

The Dr Detroit team had entered him hoping to run third or fourth.

"I'm stunned," Blue said. "It's the thrill of a lifetime to win a Maryland Million race."

Hail Hillary, a Kentucky-based, 4-year-old daughter of Yarrow Brae, won the $100,000 Ladies for the second straight year. Pino rode the 4-5 favorite for trainer David Kassen.

In the $100,000 Oaks, Silmaril, a 3-year-old daughter of Diamond, charged to a 2 3/4 -length victory for Bowie trainer Christopher Grove and her breeders and owners, Stephen E. Quick and Christopher J. Feifarek.

In the $50,000 Starter Handicap, Dixie Colony, a son of Citidancer, scored by two lengths. Richard J. Hendriks trains the 4-year-old gelding at Fair Hill. Hunca Munca, a 3-year-old daughter of Yarrow Brae, won the $50,000 Distaff Starter Handicap.

And Drum Roll Please, a 4-year-old son of Deputed Testamony, captured the $25,000 Sprint Starter Handicap, providing his Bowie trainer, Donnovan Haughton, and his Washington owner, Richard Shannon, their first stakes win.

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