Ben Feliciano, one of four jockeys convicted of fixing a race at Bowie Feb. 14, 1975, said he will definitely make a comeback beginning March 11, opening day at Pimlico.
Feliciano, 42, has not ridden since his conviction for which he served more than four months in federal prison. He served a short stint as a trainer, but for the past two years has been one of the more successful jockey agents.
Feliciano feels his way was cleared with a Maryland circuit judge's reinstatement last week of Jesse Davidson, another convicted in the 1975 incident. Davidson looks to come back in two weeks.
"I'm in good physical condition," Feliciano said at Laurel yesterday, "and I've begun getting on horses to get my legs strengthened and my weight off. I'm up to 130 pounds but I feel strong . . .
"Riding is always in a jockey's blood. Besides, in those three years when I was leading rider at Pimlico I earned $150,000 a year. That's three times what I'm making as an agent."
Maryland's biggest Sunday handle ever was turned in yesterday at Laurel, 10,699 fans wagering $1,463,016 on a nine-race card. The previous largest handle, $1,270,672, was bet at Laurel on Nov. 18, 1979, the state's first racing Sunday.
I Am The Game, an undefeated 3-year-old Maryland-bred, won the $45,850 Francis Scott Key Stakes by five lengths over Sparrowvon.