Spring House rallies on Laurel turf

Horse racing

October 23, 2005|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Jockey Jose Velez Jr. waited until the final eighth of a mile before turning loose R.D. Hubbard's Spring House and held on tight as the bay gelding shifted into overdrive and ran past the leaders to win the $85,000 Japan Racing Association Stakes over the soft turf course yesterday at Laurel Park.

Spring House, who dropped back to last as the field raced into the first turn, threaded his way through traffic before angling out to the middle of the track and kicking on to the finish. He covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1 minute, 44.28 seconds, catching front-running long shot Ramazutti at the next-to-last pole and won by a length. Sly One finished third.

Spring House paid $7.80 as the second choice in the field of 14 3-year-olds and topped a $96.80 exacta and $456.60 trifecta.

"There was a lot of speed in the race," a mud-splattered Velez said. "I saved ground. I had a lot of horse under me. I finally got him into the clear and he took it from there. I felt by the 1/16th pole I knew I had it already. The last few yards I didn't have to use my horse."

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