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Rambo Phil, 7, excels at double duty HORSE RACING


He can run only once a month now, and his racing career is nearing the end after 52 starts and 28 finishes in the money.

But Rambo Phil, owned by the H & Bee Stable of Haymarket, Va., is among the rarest of horses -- those who continue to compete at the track and are being bred simultaneously.

The 7-year-old hasn't won since November at Laurel but is consistently on the board. Saturday, he sired his second foal of the spring.

"He's the nicest horse to work around," trainer Greg Wilson said yesterday after Rambo Phil started sluggishly, then finished fourth in a $12,000 claiming race.

"Usually, when they're breeding, they're maniacs, but this horse has a lot of class."

A half brother to Mane Minister, who finished third in all three Triple Crown races in 1991, Rambo Phil "has some problems," Wilson said.

"He had a cracked cannon bone that kept him out for a while and he can only run once a month because he comes out pretty sore every time now. But he tries hard all the time and we deal with the problems."

Wilson said Rambo Phil is bred between races "and puts his stamp on" his foals. He has been a good investment for the Belotti and Hall families, who co-own him.

Since the horse does not race well in hot weather, he might go one more time before retiring to the farm for a rest from the track. The owners will decide whether to bring Rambo Phil back in the fall.

"I don't want to see him drop any cheaper than I have him," said Wilson. "This horse has class and deserves better."

* Carl Nafzger, noted trainer who sent Unbridled through the Triple Crown series, will serve as the judge at the Maryland Horse Breeders Association's 58th annual yearling show June 28.

He will select the champion Maryland-bred yearling from more than 125 entires at the Timonium Fairgrounds starting at 10 a.m.

Four classes will be contested, two for colts and two for fillies, among state-bred yearlings and out-of-state yearlings.

* Fashion Miss came flying on the outside in the final eighth of a mile and nipped favored Logan's Mist at the wire in the $23,000 allowance feature on the turf.

It was the ninth win in 25 starts on the turf for Fashion Miss, who carried the hot jockey, Mario Pino, to the wire in 1 minute, 44 3/5 seconds after 1 1/16 miles.

* Maryland-based Older But Smarter went wire to wire and won the $35,000 John McSorley Stakes at Monmouth Park yesterday.

Running on Lasix for the first time, Older But Smarter completed the 1 1/16 miles on the turf in 1:40 2/5.

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