Spectacular Bid, with veteran Bill Shoemaker aboard for the first time, rebounded from a seven-week layoff to win an $18,000 allowance race by 17 lengths today at Delaware Park.
Bids 1:41 3/5 over the 1 1/16 miles broke the 19-year-old track record by a fifth of a second. It was Bid's first race since finishing third in the Belmont Stakes June 9.
The race was what Delaware Park horsemen call written for the horse. Conditions stated called for "3-year-olds which have not won three races other than maiden or claiming since April 30." The only two races Bid had won since April 30 were the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Trainer Bud Delp, who replaced jockey Ronnie Franklin with Shoemaker after the Belmont, said he had not given Shoemaker any riding orders before the race. "I asked only that he run from the head of the lane home," Delp said.
Bid did just that. By the time he hit the clubhouse turn he was all by himself. By the time he passed the 16th pole the crowd of 12,945 started to cheer and co-owner Teresa Meyerhoff stopped wringing her hands and joined the crowd in applause.
Bid hit the first turn in third place, behind Ply The Sea and Not So Proud. On the second turn he moved to the lead, and by the time he was in the backstretch, he was stretching the lead with each stride.
"I didn't ask him to run," Shoemaker said. "I never hit him.I just shook it (the whip) at him. I knew he was good and now I think he's great."
Spectacular Bid paid $2.10 to win and place and the exacta paid $3.80, tying the lowest exacta payoff in the 42-year history of Delaware Park. There was no show betting. Bid earned $9,600, raising his career winnings to $1,165,467.
Franklin, who rode Bid from the beginning of the colt's career until the defeat in the Belmont, watched from a clubhouse box. "What is there to say?" he said. "I knew he'd win. They won't beat him in New York."
Franklin was referring to the Marlboro Invitational Sept. 8 at Belmont, when Bid will face Affirmed, winner of the Triple Crown in 1978. The race is expected to decide horse of the year honors.
"I'm glad Shoemaker is going because of the treatment Ronnie got in New York," Delp said, alluding to the well-publicized fight between Franklin and jockey Angel Cordero Jr. before the Belmont.
Shoemaker added that a spectator gave him some helpful hints on handling his new mount.He said the spectator was Ron Franklin.