BALTIMORE, MAY 24 -- The year's first race for 2-year-olds offers few handicapping clues, but Maryland horseplayers know whom to tail: Bernie Bond.
Over the last few decades, no Maryland trainer has won with as many unraced juveniles as Bond, and today he added one more as Gala Goldilocks took Pimlico's first 2-year-old race of 1990. She paid $5.20 as the strong favorite in a field of 10 fillies.
Gala Goldilocks didn't show the usual set of fast workouts customary for her stable, but she had Bond's guidance and respected breeding -- a full sister to stakes winner Gala de Oro. Bond said Gala Goldilocks had had at least 10 bona fide workouts, and the clockers missed all but one, a half-mile in 48 2/5 seconds.
After hesitating momentarily today, Gala Goldilocks shot to the lead. She did it easily enough, but jockey Gregg McCarron said, "Once she got out there by herself, she pricked her ears, and I was getting worried she was going to pull herself up." He got her attention, and the Shelter Half filly held the victory by four lengths over Irish Debutante.
Bond struggled to explain his longterm success with young horses. "I think we spend a little more time with 2-year-olds, getting them ready," he said. "I feel sorry for the guy with one or two 2-year-olds because he can't work them in sets. We gallop 'em three or four abreast and let 'em get bumped around a little bit. They're not timid."
On Friday, Bond will send the unraced Double Rob in Maryland's first race for 2-year-old males.
Post for Leatherbury
King Leatherbury was elected to a third one-year term as president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, and J.W.Y. "Duck" Martin was elected vice president following the group's annual meeting Tuesday.
Leatherbury, whose 4,800 winners lead all trainers except Jack Van Berg, breeds horses at his Craftwell Farm in Anne Arundel County. He owns about 25 broodmares and has major interests in the Maryland stallions Thirty Eight Paces, I Am The Game and Marine Brass.
Martin, who races horses, owns Worthington Farm in Baltimore County and the stallions Lord Gaylord, Northern Raja and Gaylord's Carousel. . . .
One double-triple bettor hit it big today, draining the pool of $80,048.