Larry Reynolds attributed it to breathing some cool, clean mountain air and unwinding while getting in some trout fishing.
But whatever the reason, the 24-year-old jockey returned to Pimlico Race Course yesterday after a brief vacation in Billings, Mont., and won four races, including the $56,800 Sensational Stakes aboard Mz. Zill Bear.
Reynolds' return coincided with the return of live racing to Pimlico, which had been closed for almost two weeks during the Maryland State Fair meet at Timonium.
The highlight of Reynolds' day occurred when he took over the riding assignment on Mz. Zill Bear after winning the third, fourth and fifth races. The 5-year-old mare took him to the lead around the final turn, defeating Logan's Mist by two lengths. Favored Alice Springs, a high-strung filly who won the Grade II Matchmaker Stakes at Atlantic City Race Course in July, finished third.
The race marked the return to Maryland of Mz. Zill Bear, who was coming off a three-race foray in Grade I company in California. Her best effort there occurred two months ago when she finished second in the Gamely Handicap, beating two-time filly and mare turf champion Flawlessly.
Owners Bill and Phyllis Dixon had wanted Edgar Prado to ride Mz. Zill Bear, but he was committed to runner-up Logan's Mist.
"We needed a jockey who would ride her in all three of her upcoming races," Bill Dixon said. "So we contacted Larry, and he got the mount."
In addition to winning the Sensational Stakes, Mz. Zill Bear now will attempt to win the Oct. 1 Maryland Million Ladies Turf race for the second straight year and then is scheduled to start in the All Along Stakes on Oct. 16.
The Maryland Million Classic lost its potential favorite yesterday when trainer King Leatherbury told Pimlico/Laurel racing officials that Taking Risks is a "doubtful" starter for the race.
Instead, Leatherbury hopes to run Ameri Valay and Super Memory.
Rosecroft to feature 2-year-old fillies
Two-year-old fillies will race for more than $500,000 in purse money this weekend at Rosecroft Raceway in two stakes sponsored by the Kentucky Standardbred Sales Co.
Tonight, two divisions of filly trotters are set to meet. Tomorrow night, pacing fillies take the stage in four divisions of their stake. First race each night is at 7:30.