A busy weekend of racing, including today's split Chrysanthemum Handicap at Laurel, finds Seattle Slew, Triple Crown winner in 1977, making the final start of his brilliant career in the $100,000 Stuyvesant Handicap at Aqueduct today. Slew goes into the Stuyvesant with a career record of 10 wins out of 13 starts and a bankroll of more than a million dollars. The son of Bold Reasoning will tote 134 pounds and a win could boost his chances for horse-of-the-year honors.
Another divisional championship will be wrapped up today if Spectacular Bid runs to his best form in the $100,000 Heritage Stakes at Keystone in Pennsylvania. The Buddy Delp-trained 2-year-old is listed as the 1-to-5 choice.
Spectacular Bid shows six wins out of eight starts and a bankroll of $324,484. The gray son of Bold Bidder will again be ridden by apprentice Ron Franklin, who rode him to victory in the Laurel Futurity last month.
The split Chrysanthemum Handicap is a tough handicapping proposition since both races appear to be wide-open affairs, judging by the weight assignments.
In the first half, Cycylva Zee and Leave Me Alone are the one-two high-weights and possible betting choices. In the second half, the Maurice Zilber-trained Beatrice shares the high-weight and probable-favorite role with Misgivings, winner of her only two starts over the turf.
Laurel Racing Secretary Lou Raffetto Jr. called the turn on Wednesday's What A Summer Handicap. His one-two-three high-weights -- Debby's Turn, Moonlight Jig and Silver Ice -- ran in that order with less than half a length separating the trio at the wire.
Trainer Frank Whitley, a longtime citizen of Laurel and a member of Racing's Hall Of Fame, will be honored today along with steeplechase Hall Of Famer Joe Aitcheson Jr.