Green Way Court, an 11-1 Charles Town Races-based long shot, repulsed My Frenchman's fourth consecutive attempt to win the Roman Handicap yesterday at Pimlico Race Course.
The 6-year-old gelding, who never had won a grass race, led wire-to-wire and held off My Frenchman's stretch bid by three-quarters of a length. Green Way Court was timed in the five furlongs on the turf in 57 4/5 seconds, 1 2/5 seconds slower than My Frenchman's course record.
"It's hard to give away that much weight," said Jimmy Murphy, trainer of My Frenchman, who was making his first start in seven months. My Frenchman, who had won the race from 1989 to 1991, carried 122 pounds, eight more than Green Way Court.
"He was stepping up in class, and I wasn't sure he'd hang on," said James W. Casey, who trains Green Way Court at Charles Town. Yesterday, the horse was saddled by his son, James M. Casey, who has an eight-horse stable at Laurel Race Course.
The Caseys found it difficult to get a rider. The horse's regular jockey, Lillian "Mich" Kuykendall, decided to stay at Charles Town and compete there yesterday. Then the Caseys' second choice, Larry Reynolds, who also had ridden the horse previously, opted to ride Allthathecouldsee, who finished fourth.
The Caseys' third choice was Rick Wilson, who picked up 10 percent of the winner's share of $26,955, or $2,695, for less than a minute's work.
James W. Casey said that Coin Collector, the stakes-winning 3-year-old owned by his other son, John Casey, is recovering from the removal of a bone chip in his knee, but should resume training in about a month.