Jim Ryan had to endure a foul claim before Baltic Chill's winning purse of $41,295 was secured in the Harbor Place Stakes yesterday at Laurel. But earlier on the program, one fan had a more nerve-racking delay in a double-triple race, waiting several minutes on a stewards' ruling that he too survived for a gross payoff of $158,192.
The double triple hadn't been mastered since June 30, and it seemed destined to grow again yesterday after the first-half combination produced only 16 live tickets. At least one of those belonged to an unidentified man from the Baltimore area, who used the exchange for a 13-14-8 triple combination in the fifth race, the second half of the exotic wager.
The horses finished that way, but jockey Kelly Castaneda, on seventh-place Get Carried Away, claimed foul, alleging that No. 14 Felsen impeded his mount. (Although no one knew at the time, Felsen's disqualification would have kept alive the double-triple pool.) Stewards found no interference and allowed the result to stand, producing the biggest individual payoff since Oct. 2, when one ticket holder hit a double triple worth $290,728 at Pimlico.
Baltic Chill won her first stakes race with the help of Donnie Miller Jr.'s alert ride. Miller had the 3-year-old Maryland-bred close to dueling front-runners Starfield and Charnell's Dream on the turf course's far turn when Mymet and Colonial Runner attempted to pass inside. Baltic Chill held her ground, and Joe Rocco checked Mymet.
Baltic Chill passed Starfield in the stretch but had a difficult time overtaking Charnell's Dream, the 16-1 long shot. She got by with less than a sixteenth-mile left for a half-length victory over Colonial Runner, who rallied to edge Charnell's Dream for second.
Baltic Chill covered the soggy course in 1:54 3/5 for 1 1/8 miles.