Sand Lady gave her rivals the needle when winning the $58,025 Queen Empress Stakes at Pimlico Race Course yesterday.
"She's like a sewing machine," said Mike Luzzi, who rode her. "She's little, but she moves her legs real fast. She runs hard."
Sand Lady won the one-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies with a sweeping stretch move. She laid off the early pace set by Pretty Nice, angled out for the stretch drive, then suddenly spurted to the front to win by nearly five lengths over Point Spread. Carrtown's Margaret was third, another neck behind.
The victory was the first of two on the card for Luzzi, who was tied with Edgar Prado atop the jockeys' standings before the race. Prado, who rode three winners before the Queen Empress, trails Luzzi, 18-16.
Eduardo Reyes saddled Sand Lady for trainer Vinnie Blengs, who was completing a weekend trip at Belmont Park. One of Blengs' horses, Change A Babe, won a $35,000 claiming race yesterday.
The Queen Empress is a prep for the $200,000 Selima Stakes at Laurel Race Course on Oct. 20. Reyes said he believed Blengs might consider Sand Lady, now 3-for-4, for the race, although the filly is not a nominee and it would cost owner Seymour Cohen $12,500 to supplement her.
Earlier on the card, a racing first occurred. Alberto Ramos and his sons, Alberto and Gilberto Delgado, each rode one winner. Although there are no comprehensive records to verify the feat, the possibility of a father and two sons having ridden winners on the same card at a sanctioned North American track is unlikely.
NOTES: Owner Arthur Appleton has given Jolie's Halo, one of the nation's top handicap horses earlier this year but a recent disappointment, to Bob Camac to train. The 4-year-old colt finished last in the Woodward Stakes in his most recent start. Camac, who trains a division of Appleton's horses at his Laurel base, takes over for Happy Alter and reportedly will point Jolie's Halo to the Oct. 19 International. . . . About 2,000 AFL-CIO members and guests watched the races from the infield yesterday. . . . With 4-1 co-favorites in yesterday's third race, the Double Triple appeared impossible to hit -- and, indeed, there were just 6 live tickets after Graceful Crest, a 9-1 shot, won. The carry-over pool stands at $206,472 for tomorrow's card. . . . Don'tcloseyoureyes continued a recent tear with a 1 3/4 -length triumph in yesterday's eighth race. It was his fourth straight victory. . . . Solar Splendor and Dear Doctor, the 1-2 finishers in the Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park yesterday, are nominated to the Oct. 19 International at Laurel. . . . Double Booked, high-weighted at 122 pounds for Saturday's Damascus Handicap on the turf, is a definite starter, trainer Linda Rice said yesterday.