The double-triple jackpot exceeded $100,000 at a Maryland track yesterday for the first time in three months, and few, if any, bettors could blame rain for the rising pool.
A downpour hit Laurel Race Course before the fourth race, but by then most double-triple hopes had been washed away. The prime antagonist was Foulis Piper, a 2-year-old who vaulted a fallen rider in his only race, an 18-length defeat.
Hurdling nothing in yesterday's third race except long odds, he surprised even jockey Mario Pino with a three-length victory.
His closest followers were Gilded Youth (12-1) and Majestic Game (24-1), a 10-14-5 combination no one selected. Because half of the day's double-triple pool must be paid on the third race, anyone with a 10-14 combination in the first two slots was declared a winner. There were 20 such tickets worth $791.40 apiece, but none of those was parlayed into the big score.
Rain turned the track muddy for the fifth race, in which high hopes had been placed on heavily favored Live The Legend. His fade to seventh helped extend the double-triple carryover to $108,485, its highest level since mid-July. The pool has not been emptied in 12 days this meet.
Pino would have preferred the third-race mount on All Laughter, a colt trained by Luigi Gino -- his father-in-law -- but agent Joe Monahan had committed him to Foulis Piper. "In the morning, he runs slow early and then comes running at the end," Pino said of the little colt. "I figured he'd win going long at some point, but I didn't think it would be today."
Pino won two races yesterday to move into a four-way tie for second in the rider standings. With nine victories, Pino, Joe Rocco, Mark Johnston and Mike Luzzi are two shy of Edgar Prado.
Trainer John Hartsell, a winner with both his starters yesterday, is six for 12 here and only one victory behind King Leatherbury, the meet leader, in the standings. Leatherbury has had 46 more starters.