Pole position won the $56,100 Native Dancer Handicap at Bowie yesterday by three lengths over The Cool Virginian. But the star of the afternoon was 46-year-old jockey Bill Passmore who booted home winners on six of his seven mounts.
Passmore, father of seven, brought his leading total for the meeting to 41, seven more than apprentice Robert Ussery Jr. Passmore started the productive afternoon by circling the field wih Dr. Tipton in the second race to post a $18.60 win mutuel. He came right back in the third with the favored Motor Bike at $4.20.
Quill's Turn, one of the most-improved platers in racing, made it three in succession under Passmore in the sixth for a $8.80 payoff. Rippling Rhythm (8.80) coasted home in the seventh and For Love And Glory ($8.80) won the eighth under Passmore's direction.
Passmore finished sixth and last on Horatius in the ninth-race feature, but completed the day a winner in the 10th race atop Nyee, who paid $15. Nyee headed a 1-5-4 triple that paid $377.70.
It was 1948 when Passmore rode his first winner, Minneapolis, at Jamaica, at age 15. It was in and out for several years until he hit a slump in the early 60s that caused him to retire and become a valet for other jockeys.
In 1965 he made a comeback that has brought him to the top of the riding colony in Maryland, including many major victories on such horses as Twixt, Itsa Great Day and Hannibal.
On March 5, 1976, Passmore rode six straight winners, then scored with his first two mounts the following day to tie an American record.
The Passmore clan has been especially productive lately with Gunar Lindberg, Passmore's son-in-law, riding Pole Position to his authoritative win yesterday. Pole Position ran the 1-1/16 miles in 1:45 1/5. Last Wednesday Darryl McHargue, another son-in-law blitzed jockey Ron Franklin with a barrage of counterblows in a jockey-room altercation in California.
Passmore's first mount on Monday at Bowie is supposed to be Divesture in the first race. However, he is contracted to ride Jameela at Hialeah Park on the same day in the Columbiana Stakes.