Voided win slows Pino's quest

Horse racing

November 04, 2007|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

STANTON, Del. -- Jockey Mario Pino entered yesterday's races at Delaware Park needing two wins to become the 15th rider to reach 6,000 career victories, but he received startling news before his first mount.

One of his victories at that track last month was taken away because his horse tested positive for an illegal substance. Therefore, instead of needing two victories for the milestone, Pino needed three and ended the day with one first-place finish in his six races.

"It was tough because you think every victory counts," said Pino, who lives in Ellicott City. "You just want to get the [6,000th victory] done. But that is horse racing."

Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission officials said Phil the Brit, a horse Pino rode Oct. 8, tested positive for Clenbuterol, a drug that reportedly helps horses breathe easier. Ryan Beattie, the trainer of the horse, was fined $500 and will serve a suspension from Saturday to Nov. 16, according to the ruling.

Despite the bad news, Pino started strong yesterday by winning the $14,000 first race by 6 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:15.65. Pino had started in the back, but his horse, Run Along Rose, found some space on the outside on the final furlong and distanced himself from the field after starting at 6-1 odds.

After the opening victory, Pino finished sixth, fifth, fourth, ninth and third in his remaining races. He has four more mounts today at Delaware Park, and he will then return to race at Laurel this week.

At this point, Pino said he is ready to notch the 6,000th win and move on.

"I won a ton of races in Maryland, so it would be fitting to do it there," Pino said. "But, you know, I have to fulfill my engagements here this weekend. I just can't take off. I need two more."

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