The weight assignments were announced for the first running of the $250,000 Pimlico Distaff yesterday, and trainer Carlos Garcia immediately screamed foul.
Garcia, who conditions local hopeful Brilliant Brass, was not at all happy when his mare was assigned 117 pounds after four straight victories, and Harbour Club, a New York-based runner, received an impost of 110 from racing secretary Larry Abbundi.
"My mare is in good shape," said Garcia. "She'll be ready for the race. But we haven't run against anyone good. We've got to be realistic. The weight is very important. It can stop a train, especially going 1 1/8 miles.
"This is just a local filly. Maybe she's the queen of Maryland, but she's only beaten horses around here. That other horse [Harbour Club] was only beaten a nose by the best in the country," said Garcia.
Harbour Club has finished second to Missy's Mirage, whom Allen Jerkens has said may be the best he has trained. Jerkens is a Hall of Fame trainer who achieved fame for producing upset victories, including two over the great Secretariat with Onion and Prove Out.
In their past two stakes meetings at Belmont Park, Missy's Mirage beat Harbour Club by three lengths in the slop and by a nose over a good track in distance tests.
Abbundi made the Canadian-based Wilderness Song the high weight at 121 pounds in Saturday's 1 1/8 -mile handicap, which has lured some of the country's top older mares.
Missy's Mirage is resting and will not compete.
Brilliant Brass carried regular jockey Edgar Prado and 118 pounds in her last victory, a five-length score over Boxwood in the Geisha Handicap on May 17.
Elaine Bassford's mare has won six of her past seven starts.
Brilliant Brass worked five furlongs handily at Laurel in 1 minute, 3/5 of a second Monday.
Wilderness Song drops 5 pounds off her last race, a game second in the seven-furlong Seaway Stakes at Woodbine on May 23.
One they will not have to contend with is Meadow Star, who will run in Sunday's $75,000 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont. Trainer Leroy Jolley says his horse needs another sprint before going around two turns.
The Distaff will be televised nationally on ESPN as part of its Ohio Derby telecast, with post time set for approximately 5:20 p.m.
* Through June 12, Prado was the second-winningest jockey in the nation, with 188 victories, and he did nothing to harm himself yesterday.
Prado rode three more winners, including Always Nettie, who rallied on the outside to take the featured $19,000 allowance on the turf in the ninth race.
* A win by Kelly's Class last Saturday was his ninth of the year, tying him with King's Shamong and I Knew That for the national lead.