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Wide Country may not run in Fritchie Trainer says weight assignment for rival Wood So is unfair


LAUREL -- Trainer Bob Camac said an unfair weight assignment might keep him from running Wide Country, his state-bred champion, in Saturday's $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap.

Camac wasn't surprised that Wide Country received top weight of 120 pounds, but said the 113 pounds assigned Wood So is "out of line."

Wood So, trained by Katy Voss, recently won a prep for the Barbara Fritchie by seven lengths, as well as the Grade III Interborough Handicap at Aqueduct.

"That gives Wood So a tremendous break in the weights," Camac said. "As good as that mare is running now, I thought she'd get something like 118 pounds. I never imagined we'd be spotting her 7 pounds."

Wood So has career earnings of $208,550, compared to $747,019 for Wide Country.

"But Wide Country won most of that money in the 3-year-old filly division," Camac said. "Now we're going against older mares, and that's a big difference."

Voss said she thought the weights were fair. "I remember when I had Twixt [a former champion Maryland-bred]," Voss said. "She would have carried 126 pounds in a race like this."

Camac plans to work Wide Country this morning. He said "it's 50-50 whether or not I run her. The trouble is there aren't many stakes around that aren't handicaps."

NOTES: Mark Johnston and Mike Luzzi each won two races yesterday. . . . The General George Stakes next Monday (Presidents' Day) is expected to be a stronger part of Laurel's Winter Sprintfest than the Barbara Fritchie. Few out-of-town fillies and mares are expected to ship in for the Barbara Fritchie. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas might ship in both Formal Dinner and Nucleon for the General George. Bud Delp has lined up New York jockey Mike Smith to ride Sunny Sunrise. . . . Camac said that even though Wide Country has won mostly distance races, he's not worried about shortening her to seven furlongs in the Barbara Fritchie. "She's got a lot of natural speed," he said, "and she won once or twice at seven-eighths." Wide Country has not raced since Dec. 29, when she won the All Brandy Handicap at Laurel carrying 120 pounds in state-bred company.

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