Jockey Willie Carson, who finished a well-beaten fifth astride the third choice Awaasif in yesterday's Washington, D.C. International, admitted after the race that the lack of stickers (mud guards) on his mount probably caused a poor performance.

He also was highly critical of the track. "Laurel is not a real track -- not like Longchamp where the best horse usually wins. Laurel is like a dog track, narrow and almost unmanageable without a lot of practice over it."

Trainer Francois Boutin did acknowledge that April Run wore stickers for her outstanding performance in which she ran the final quarter-mile in 24 seconds over a yielding turf course.

Awaasif had beaten April Run in the Arc de Triomphe last month in France. She was beaten 15 lengths by April Run yesterday and Carson was unconvinced that the winner is that much better than his filly.

"We'll catch her in Europe somewhere along the way and beat her again," he said.

Bill Passmore, who rode Royal Roberto to a sixth-place finish, said, "I was told before the race that Royal Roberto could not handle an off track. I was told right. My colt would run in spots like he was going to win easily, then would start to waddle and stumble." Royal Roberto ran the 1 1/2 miles over a firm turf course here in 2:27 4/5 on opening day. "What did they run the distance today? 2:31? That tells the difference right there. My horse must have a firm course to do his best."

Jockey Eddie Maple said of runner-up Majesty's Prince, "My horse had no trouble at any stage. We had a good clean trip. We just had too much April Run."

Trainer Luis Barrera said of Pair Of Deuces, who finished eighth, "My horse had 127 pounds on a tiring track. That did not help. He tried his best, but got tired."