The first day of the International Turf Festival at Laurel turned into a multinational event instead of a predicted rout by the French.
Horses trained in three different Laurel notebook
countries and owned by Middle Eastern royalty and a Canadian-born American sports star won the three races.
The Baltimore Colts' Band played the "The Star-Spangled Banner" after California-based Glen Kate won the Laurel Dash.
The mare's trainer, the legendary ex-jockey Bill Shoemaker, stayed home in San Marino where California Gov. Pete Wilson had proclaimed yesterday "Bill Shoemaker Day." Shoemaker was honored at Santa Anita Race Course by the International Society of Athletes.
But Shoemaker was reached by phone immediately after Glen Kate's victory.
He said he had given winning rider, Laffit Pincay Jr., no instructions. "Bad riders don't follow instructions, and good riders don't listen to them," Shoemaker said.
He said that Glen Kate's victory followed a win by Fire The Groom in the Beverley D. Handicap at Arlington International Racecourse as his biggest win as a trainer. Shoemaker won more than 1,000 stakes as a jockey.
Glen Kate is owned by Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall and his star player Wayne Gretzky.
Theirry Jarnet, who rode French-based Marble Maiden to victory in the All Along Stakes, replaced Texas-born Cash Asmussen as stable jockey for winning trainer Andre Fabre.
Jarnet, 25, is this year's champion French jockey. He won the Prix de l'Arc Triomphe earlier this month with Subotica.
BTC Steve Cauthen could have had the mount on Marble Maiden since he is contract rider for Sheik Mohammed al Maktoum, the filly's owner.
But Cauthen let Jarnet have the mount.
Cauthen rides Mashaallah for Sheik Mohammed's brother, Sheik Ahmed, today in the Rothmans Ltd. International at Woodbine Race Course in Toronto.
Jarnet and Dominque Boeuf, who finished third in both the Dash and All Along as well as fourth in the International, are the so-called "Golden Boys" of French racing. Boeuf was champion rider last year.
Marble Maiden now joins the string of trainer Gary Jones in California.
Alan Munro, winner of the International on English-based Zoman, was born in York and currently lives in Cambridge. Like Jarnet, he is 25 years old.
Prince Fahd, Zoman's owner, said after the International he hopes to run the horse in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 31 at Gulfstream Park. The Classic drew another intended starter yesterday when Rodrigo de Triano won the Champion Stakes in England.
Zoman's victory brings the total number of International winners to 21 for horses from foreign countries, 20 for U.S.-based runners.
* Among the celebrities at Laurel yesterday for the International were the ambassadors from Ireland, Hungary, Cyprus and Germany. Jim McKay presented the trophy to the owner of the All Along Stakes. Winning owner Sheik Mohammed was represented by Helen Alexander, one of the King Ranch heiresses. Alexander started representing Sheik Mohammed in his U.S. racing ventures in July.