Wicked Thunder strikes to win Dancing Count Stakes by nose
Gary Capuano and Paul L. Fowler Jr.'s Wicked Thunder broke sharply, then stalked the favorite before edging to the lead and narrowly winning the $75,000 Dancing Count Stakes for 3-year-olds at muddy Laurel Park on Saturday. Wicked Thunder is trained by Capuano and ridden by Josean Ramirez. He covered the six-furlong distance in 1 minute, 11.76 seconds, winning by a nose and paying $7. Betting favorite Diski Dancer finished second. Afternoon Action was 21/2 lengths farther back in third. "He puts it out there and gives it his all every time out," said Capuano, who won the Dancing Count four years ago with Great Seneca. "This was a very competitive race. The 2 horse [Diski Dancer] ran so well last time out, you thought maybe he might bounce. [Trainer John] Rigattieri's horse [Afternoon Action] beat us in the last two starts, and I thought he was the horse to beat. My horse does what he does in the morning, but in the afternoon he becomes a competitor, which is better than the other way." This was the first added-money victory for Wicked Thunder. With his win, the colt upped his record to four wins and five seconds in nine starts. "Coming into the race, I knew it was an even race with a lot of speed," said Ramirez, who has been aboard for all nine races. "He always gives me his best, and so far that means no worse than second." The son of Thunder Gulch topped a $21.60 exacta and $82.80 trifecta.
More Laurel Park: The Maryland Jockey Club honored local stars who shined during 2010 with ceremonies between races Saturday. Chris Grove saddled 57 winners at the major Maryland tracks during the 2010 campaign, four more than Scott Lake, who had won five straight training titles in the state. The Grove barn captured the Laurel winter and Laurel summer titles. The Frederick native won both the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie and General George Handicaps at Laurel Park on Feb. 15 with Sweet Goodbye and Greenspring, and saddled four consecutive winners at Laurel Park on Aug. 14. Overall, he won a career-best 95 races a year ago. "It was a very good feeling winning the title the first time," Grove said. "I don't know if I could have dreamt that day [Feb. 15] up any better." Despite riding only 18 winners during the first two meets of the 2010 season, Forest Boyce won her first riding championship in the state with 104 victories at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course last year. The Garrison Forest graduate won the riding title for the Laurel fall meeting with 71 scores and 23 multiple-win days, including a career-best four trips to the winner's circle Dec. 2 and Dec. 16. Boyce was the runner-up for the 2010 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Rider. "I had a lot of good trainers, with some really nice horses jump on board with us the second half of the year," Boyce said.
D-III College Basketball
Winters Mill's Lesniak leads McDaniel past Washington, 73-66
Devon Lesniak (Winters Mill) tallied a game-high 25 points, leading McDaniel (10-8, 7-4 Centennial Conference) to a 73-66 road victory over Washington (6-13, 5-7). The Green Terror snapped a 17-game road losing streak to the Shoremen.
More men's results: Spencer Liddic scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead host Muhlenberg (11-8, 7-5 CC) to a 54-48 win over Johns Hopkins. The loss was the fifth straight for the Blue Jays, who fell to 4-15 overall and 2-10 in the conference. … DeSean Antoine led all scorers with 31 points as Frostburg (8-12, 3-8 Capital Athletic Conference) registered a 81-77 road victory over Stevenson (5-14, 1-9). Antoine shot 7-for-11 from beyond the arc. … Chris McGrew and Mike Maczko each scored 19 points in a losing effort as visiting Salisbury (7-11, 2-7 CAC) came up short, 69-67, against Wesley (13-6, 9-1). Trevor Williamson's tip-in with 1:07 left and four free throws lifted Susquehanna (9-11, 5-4 Landmark Conference) to a 65-60 win over host Goucher (4-12, 2-7). … Mary Washington (12-6, 6-4 CAC) lost, 69-58, at St. Mary's (15-4, 9-1).