BALTIMORE, SEPT. 17 -- Without a sound, word of a young filly named Light Beat traveled through Pimlico Race Course Tuesday.

The Jim Murphy-trained 2-year-old never had raced, but her talent was announced the moment the tote board lit up before the race: In a field of eight, Light Beat (5 to 1 in the program) opened at 1 to 5.

Backstretch personnel, Murphy said, "knew {Light Beat} had worked with a couple of older horses, and she'd stayed with some pretty nice horses. The barn doesn't miss that much."

The program favorite, Court Observer, had run two good races against some of Pimlico's better 2-year-old fillies. At post time, however, she was 7 to 2, Light Beat 1 to 2.

When the gate opened, Court Observer shot to the lead from post 2, and Light Beat broke sluggishly from post 1. But with virtually no urging from jockey Donald Miller Jr., Light Beat cruised to the lead, cut quarter-mile fractions of 23 1/5 seconds and 47 1/5, and won by seven lengths in 1:13 1/5. Miller not only neglected his whip, he didn't even ride the Kentucky-bred daughter of Majestic Light that rigorously.

For all their inside information, backstretch sharpies would have done nearly as well to bet Light Beat to place. She returned $3, $2.80 and $2.40.

"They love to talk," Murphy said of backstretch employes, "but I've never understood why they do. You work all year to get a sure thing, then you go ahead and kill the price."

But there should be a few more opportunities before year's end. Murphy said he likely will enter Light Beat in a couple of allowance races, then place her in a stakes "and see if she wants to go long."

"I'm not going to run her very much," Murphy said. "Maybe four or five more times this year. I don't want to burn her up. And, really, I don't know if she's that good."

But the time suggests she is. Two races after Light Beat won, older allowance horses ran six furlongs in 1:12 2/5.

Golden Choice, entered in the Budweiser Maryland Classic, is one of four Canada-breds scheduled to run in Saturday's Maryland Million program at Pimlico. All were conceived in Maryland at Windfields Farm, but were foaled in Ontario.

Golden Choice would have run in the Maryland Million last year, when he was Canada's champion 3-year-old, but he raced instead in the prestigious Rothmans International.

Early odds on Golden Choice are 8 to 5; locally based Little Bold John is the 7-to-5 favorite.