Monday's sale of Sham Say brought Zelma Morrison and Eugene Ford Sr. of Bethesda $1 million apiece, but it may have been costly to Maryland racing fans.
Before the sale, Laurel Race Course officials were considering whether to simulcast Gulfstream Park's $150,000-added Bonnie Miss, in which Sham Say and Thirty Eight Go Go were to renew their rivalry. Although Laurel was scheduled to be dark for the March 2 Bonnie Miss, track officials were prepared to open that day to simulcast the race; Laurel then would have closed the following day, a Thursday, giving workers a day to prepare for opening day at Pimlico.
But William (Winkie) Cocks, Sham Say's new trainer, said the 3-year-old filly probably would not run in the Bonnie Miss, and Laurel management all but abandoned the prospect of simulcasting the race.
"At this stage, unless something drastic happens, we won't be simulcasting it," said Tom Manfuso, Laurel vice president. "It'd be too expensive; we'd have to advertise the hell out of it and also re-educate our patrons, who aren't used to coming out to the track on Wednesdays.
"Now, if we had had two Maryland stars down there, that would have helped sell itself. It still would have been expensive, but it would have been more worth the risk."
After he led the nation's jockeys with 450 wins in 1987, Kent Desormeaux said he would remain in Maryland this year to pursue Chris McCarron's single-season world record of 546 victories. He's slightly off the pace: with 68 triumphs in 49 days, Desormeaux is on track to win 508 races in 1988.
Desormeaux, who has won 24 percent of his races at Laurel since October, has all but pocketed the $1,000 bonus given to Laurel's jockey with the highest winning percentage. Among trainers, Leo Azpurua (31.3 percent) has a slim lead over Charlie Hadry (30.5) . . .
Private Terms, the Hadry-trained colt who extended his career unbeaten streak to four by winning Monday's General George Stakes at Laurel, is scheduled to race next in the $125,000-added Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico March 12. Hadry's other top Triple Crown candidate, Finder's Choice, is being pointed for the $40,000-added Hirsch Jacobs Stakes, Pimlico's opening day feature.