When Tom and Bill Garry were racing thoroughbreds in Nebraska, they'd occasionally come East to shop for Maryland-breds. They found a bargain in Love Me a Lot, who wore down Token Dance in the final 100 yards to win the $55,525 Summertime Stakes yesterday at Laurel.
The Garrys said they had come searching for Maryland-breds because of the improving purse structure here, and after acquiring a few they decided to transfer their whole stable last December. Love Me a Lot, a 3-year-old filly they bought for $3,500, has helped make that a worthwhile decision now that she's earned almost $100,000.
She had a trip similar to the one in her Miss Preakness victory May 12, within three lengths of the leader throughout. Tom Garry, her trainer, said the filly might have been a little too edgy when she showed uncharacteristic speed and weakened in the Politely Stakes, so he had Edgar Prado restrain her some yesterday.
The filly still was in easy striking distance as Leery Baba and She's A Champ set the half-mile pace in a slow 47 seconds. She's A Champ advanced then, her lead lasting until Donnie Miller Jr. sent Token Dance past her turning for home. Love Me a Lot remained about three lengths back and didn't really fire until less than a furlong remained. She overtook She's A Champ and Token Dance in that span and won it by almost a length.
Most faintly regarded of the seven 3-year-old fillies (One Third was scratched late), Love Me a Lot paid $31.20 with Prado's third victory of the day. She went seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5.
On Michael Strickland's final day as an apprentice jockey Friday, Andrea Seefeldt apologized for deliberately striking him with her whip during the sixth race.
Seefeldt, astride Biscuit Mountain, was just to the right of the Strickland-ridden Braude's Baby for most of the race. She said Strickland, operating without much elbow room, inadvertently hit her once with his whip on the far turn, and when he did it again leading into the stretch, Seefeldt turned and lashed him across the rib cage.
Strickland, who appeared stunned, put the whip away and essentially hand-rode Braude's Baby. The 3-year-old took the lead soon thereafter but finished second while Biscuit Mountain dropped out of contention.
"It was just an impulse," Seefeldt said of the retaliation. "I was getting ready to hit my horse, instead I hit him. It worked. The second time he got me, it stung me and marked my arm. It still hurts today."
Seefeldt said she had never intentionally whipped another rider before. Racing rules prohibit such uses of the whip, but as of yesterday the stewards had imposed no sanctions in the incident.
"He apologized to me for hitting me unintentionally," Seefeldt said. "I apologized to him for hitting him on purpose." . . .
Alberto Delgado won a sixteenth-mile (110-yard) foot race in a 14-person field of jockeys and celebrities on the Laurel turf course yesterday. With Delgado's victory in 12 2/5 seconds, the track donated $1,000 in the jockey's name to the Don MacBeth Memorial Fund, which provides assistance to injured riders and their families. . . .
Apprentice Victoria Irons won her first race in Maryland yesterday, guiding Sevi's Best over maiden-claimers in the fifth race. Sevi's Best hadn't won in 23 starts.