Five winning tickets were purchased at Laurel Race Course yesterday in the largest Double Triple pool at a Maryland thoroughbred track in nearly two years.
Three of the five tickets, each worth $40,093.50, had been cashed by the end of racing yesterday, said Liz Quill, director of pari-mutuels. The total pool amounted to $200,467.50. The last time a Double Triple pool exceeded that amount and was hit, according to track records, was May 22, 1992 at Pimlico Race Course, when the pool amounted to $282,189.38.
The Double Triple wager is played by correctly picking the first three finishers in the third race. For each winning combination, a player then can try to pick the first three finishers in the fifth race.
After the third race yesterday, in which 19.70-1 long shot Quick Val upset a field of eight other maidens, there were 57 winning tickets. The winning combination in the third race was 9-1-2. The other two finishers were favorites. Second choice Carrantouhill finished second, followed by third choice Josie Van Dam. The 9-5 favorite, Timesharing Friend, ended up fifth.
In the fifth race, a first-time starter named Blue Skies Forever, who was sent off the 5-2 second choice, defeated favored A Jolt Apart by 3 3/4 lengths. The third choice, Hasty Kate, at 4.30-1 odds, finished third. The winning numbers were 5-1-2.
There was some question about Quick Val's form reversal in the third race. The 4-year-old filly had been beaten 21 lengths in her last start against virtually the same company. The Daily Racing Form comment read: "Checked start, not urged."
Yesterday, steward Jean Chalk said that the track was muddy rTC for that race and that another horse had stumbled at the start, causing Quick Val to check.
"The trainer [Ron Cartwright] took the blinkers off the filly [yesterday], and the race was run slower [in 1 minute, 48 seconds] than her race on the muddy track [in 1:46 3/5]," Chalk said.
Cartwright also switched riders, replacing Mark Johnston with Jeff Carle for yesterday's race.
News conference delayed
Laurel/Pimlico operator Joe De Francis, who said a couple of weeks ago that he would be holding a news conference to announce possible changes and plans for Laurel and Pimlico, said yesterday that any such announcements are "at least a month away."
He added that no one has yet been hired to replace Frank Trigeiro, the tracks' chief financial officer who has resigned.
DeFrancis also said he would not speculate "on a timetable" when a stadium for Jack Kent Cooke's Washington Redskins football team might be built on track property.
He said that two sets of engineers, one hired by the track and another hired by Cooke, are analyzing where a new Laurel stable area might be built if Cooke goes ahead for plans with the stadium.