Longtome Bowie jockey Vince Bracciale has decided to skip the local meeting and try his luck again in New York.
Bracciale, who was nipped for a national riding title by Sandy Hawley a few years ago, parted company with agent and friend Steve Vaonakis to make the move and has signed with New York agent Tony Matos. Matos had been Angel Cordero Jr.'s agent until recently, when Cordero went to California to ride.
Bracciale tried New York four years ago with moderate success. The West Virginian won several stakes on Hatchet Man for the Greentree Stable and appeared on the verge of breaking into the inner circle of New Youk's top riders. However, Bracciale and Vaonakis had Maryland family ties and returned and stayed until last summer when they campaigned in New Jersey. There, the likable Bracciale led all riders with 86 victories despite two weeks of suspensions.
Meanwhile, Vaonakis, the agent for national leaders Howard Grant and Ronnie Ferraro in past years, has taken on the bookings for William Nemeti, winner of 46 races at the latest Laurel meeting.
The Maryland Racing Commission will meet next Thursday and is expected to plug the loophole in racing rules regarding horses that do not have the advertised medication in their systems following a race.
Attorney Hal C.B. Clagett of Upper Marlboro drove home the fact that the racing's bylaws are not specific about negative findings. The rule that appears to cover the matter reads: "Once a horse is on medication to race, permission must be obtained from the state veterinarian Representing the racing commission to remove the horse from such medication program at least five days before racing said horse."
Clagett's client, trainer Richard Dutrow, had not made the formal request to take Early Double off the medication list and when that animal was found negative for Phenylbutazone, Dutrow was suspended for 10 days by the stewards. Clagett's arguments, the hazy rules and Dutrow's candid testimony convinced a majority of the commission to halve the 10-day suspension.