Letrado and Hollywood Henderson won split divisions of the W.P. Burch Stakes yesterday at Bowie Race Course. The second division was delayed 40 minutes because of a bizarre accident that blocked the track.
Rustic Wind, a 3-year-old maiden gelding who had finished second in the fifth race, was being led from a detention barn across the infield to trainer Dennis Logan's Blueberry Hill barn when the horse bolted from the grasp of his handler, turned back toward the paddock and tried to hurdle the rail. The horse hit the inner rail, did a complete somersault and landed on his back.
Several veterinarians, led by Dr. James Stewart, attended the son of Wind Driven who appeared paralyzed. Finally, when efforts to get Rustic Wind on his feet proved fruitless. Rustic Wind was slipped onto a canvas carpet, put into a wagon and taken to a stall for further treatment.
Dr. Stewart said: "We're going to do everything to save this horse. It may only be partial paralysis of the spine resulting from the fall."
In the first division of the Burch, Letrado, a 36-1 Maryland-bred longshot who has been racing with modest success in Mexico, held off the late challenge of Call To Arms to win by a length. Shay's Rebellion, an entrymate of Call to Arms, was two lengths farther back in third.
Letrado was formerly named Reliable Doc and later named Letrado, which means lawyer. The chestnut colt's owner, lawyer Charles A. Crill, said: "This colt raced well in Mexico but has picked up noticeably since arriving here. I expected a good race."
Letrado was ridden by Rodrigo Hernandez and paid $75.40 after running the seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5.
The field for the eighth race was hurried to the post when the track was cleared and Hollywood Henderson, named for the pro football player and trained by Howard Tesher, accelerated suddenly in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length going away under a hard ride by Vince Bracciale.
Clever Shot was second by a neck over Wananish.
Hollywood Henderson paid $11 and ran the seven furlongs in 1:25 2/5.