Some fans call it the "Pino Parkway."
What they refer to is the penchant for jockey Mario Pino to rally wide and keep his mounts out of trouble during the stretch run of a race.
That's exactly what Pino did with long shot Bezelle yesterday in the $38,750 Very Subtle Breeders' Cup Handicap at Laurel Race Course.
Pino came from last place and caught Rick Wilson on 4-5 favorite Worldly Possession in the final yards, winning by a half-length over the California-based mare.
It was the second straight day that fans bet heavily on out-of-state horses and watched them get beat by a local horse. On Saturday, the New York filly Kuru Kalata was soundly beaten in the Pearl Necklace Stakes by Menemsha.
"I was told to make one run with her [Bezelle], and that's what I did," Pino said. It was Pino's first ride on the Jim Murphy-trained filly. He picked up the mount when Murphy's regular rider, Mike Luzzi, was kicked by a horse last week. Luzzi is expected to be sidelined for several more days with a bruised kidney.
Worldly Possession, who holds the Laurel track record for 6 furlongs on the grass (1 minute, 8 1/5 seconds), hasn't won a race in nearly two years, although she's been keeping company mostly in filly and mare sprint stakes on the grass, her specialty.
Wilson rode her in her record-setting performance at Laurel in 1991 when she was trained by Fair Hill-based James McGreevy. After that race and a subsequent second-place finish in a stakes at Monmouth Park, McGreevy sold her to Team Valor, the California outfit headed by Barry Irwin and Jeff Seigel.
Wilson said he thought that a combination of the heat and high weight (giving 5 pounds to Bezelle) beat her yesterday.
Another well-regarded ship-in, Irish-bred filly Poolesta, also turned in a disappointing performance. She finished seventh in the nine-horse field.
Otherwise, her New York trainer, Angel Penna, Jr., had an excellent day. Penna stayed at Belmont Park to saddle Pure Rumor to a second-place finish in the Suburban Handicap, and another one of his horses, Via Borghese, won the $105,000 Rockingham Budweiser Breeders Cup in Salem, N.H.
Tight rider-trainer races
When Pino won the Very Subtle Breeders' Cup Handicap with Bezelle, it was his third win on yesterday's Laurel card. He had won earlier with Roovan (fifth race) and Good Looking Terri (eighth race).
But he shared riding honors with Austreberto Salazar, the Mexican-born apprentice who also rode three winners: Score Thirty Eight (2nd race), Cold Wave (4th race) and Flay Time (7th race).
After 19 days of the meet, only five winners separate the top four jockeys: Salazar leads with 21 winners, followed by Larry Reynolds (19), Mark Johnston (18) and Pino (16). Two of the leading jockeys, Edgar Prado and Mike Luzzi, are sidelined with injuries.
In the trainer's standings, Dale Capuano pulled ahead of King Leatherbury yesterday by saddling three winners. Capuano leads Leatherbury, 14-12.
'Woody' comes to Laurel
Adelaide Riggs' Woods of Windsor, sixth in the Preakness and fourth in the Ohio Derby, will return to Maryland-bred company when he ships in from Monmouth Park to run Saturday in the $75,000 Humphrey S. Finney Stakes, at 1 1/16th miles on the grass.
It will be the first start on the turf for the Riggs runner and his first start with blinkers. Also expected in the Finney Stakes: P. J. Higgins and Trump Mahal.
Maryland-based horses, Valley Crossing and Sunny Sunrise, finished 6th and 8th, respectively, yesterday in the Suburban Handicap. The horses are owned by brothers, Bob and Harry Meyerhoff. . . . There will no harness simulcasts tonight at any Maryland wagering outlets although The Meadowlands Standardbred card will be telecast at all sites during the afternoon. . . . New England jockeys, Stewart Elliott and apprentice Tracy Allen, are expected to start riding in Maryland shortly, according to Laurel/Pimlico PR director, Craig Sculos. . . . Howard and Sondra Bender try for their third stakes victory in a week today with Green Darlin in the Davona Dale Handicap. Last weekend the Benders won the Chieftain Handicap at Laurel with Maryland Moon and the Sewickley Stakes at Belmont Park with Secret Odds. . . . Rick Wilson, who followed the Ben Perkins stable to Monmouth Park this summer, is the second leading jockey at the Oceanport, N.J. oval. He won the Bernie Dowd Handicap for New Jersey-bred older horses on Saturday with Pimlico-based Frugal Doc, trained by Frannie Campitelli. Wilson rides the Perkins' 2-year-old Code Home today in the Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park.