17-1 shot wins Northern Dancer

Edgar Prado performed an incredible acrobatic feat at Laurel Park yesterday that not only saved him from falling in front of the field in the Northern Dancer Stakes, but probably avoided a possible catastrophic pile-up coming out of the first turn.

As the field straightened away down the backstretch, Prado's mount, pacesetter Sandman Sims, ducked from a shadow cast across the track by a patrol judge's tower.


When the horse ducked, Prado was thrown off balance and was hanging half off the horse.

"I was right behind him and to me there was no question he was going to fall off," said Mark Johnston on 17-1 long shot Owned By Us.


Racing along at approximately 30 miles per hour, Prado clung to the horse and threw himself back into the saddle, explaining later, "I guess I just got lucky."

Although the feat avoided a possible disaster, it didn't help Prado win the $100,000 stakes.

The victory, worth $60,000 to the winner, went to Johnston and Owned By Us, who came from off the pace with the King Leatherbury-trained long shot, hugging the rail in the stretch and defeating Justalittleshower by 1 1/2 lengths.

Johnston said his horse leapt over the shadow. "I can tell you one thing, this horse will make a jumper," Johnston said.

Leatherbury had claimed the 3- year-old son of Waquoit in July for $40,000 for his longtime owners, Barbara and Charles Stanley of Warwick.

The victory not only had Leatherbury and the Stanleys in smiles, but also rival trainer, Dick Small. He owns the dam of the horse, Owned By All, in partnership with Chestertown veterinarian Tom Bowman. Owned By Us is the second stakes winner produced in two months by the mare. One of her daughters, How About Becky, won the Alma North Handicap at the Timonium meet.

"I think I've got what you'd call a serious broodmare now," Small said.

Owned By Us ran the 9 furlongs in 1 minute, 50 seconds and increased his career earnings to $106,615.


The unexpected victory also helped an unknown Pimlico handicapper score with the only winning 7 of 7 National Best Seven ticket in the country. The ticket, worth $94,797.90, had gone uncashed by the end of yesterday's parimutuel card.

NOTES: Joe Rocco won his 2,500th career victory yesterday when he guided Sezyou One Dance to a five-length victory in the fourth race. About 30 other jockeys have reached the career milestone. . . . Trainer Bill Donovan is appealing a 15-day suspension after one of his horses, Ivory Code, tested positive for a prohibited drug after winning the sixth race at Laurel on Oct. 21. . . . Godolphin Racing Inc.'s recently-acquired 2-year-old filly, Noracquilon, has bruised her heels and has been withdrawn from the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Another pre-entry, Miss Golden Circle, also has been scratched after bucking her shins. The two fillies on the preferred list, Mirielle and Bo Cheryl, now will draw into the race. . . . Western Echo worked a sparkling half mile in 46 3/5 seconds yesterday at Laurel in preparation for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The horse ships to Kentucky tomorrow. . . . Pimlico-based Concern leaves for Kentucky and a start in the $3 million Classic on Thursday night. He will be ridden by regular jockey Jerry Bailey. . . . Pimlico horsemen are due to receive their winter stall assignments at either Laurel Park or the Bowie Training Center today from vice president of racing Lenny Hale. Pimlico shuts down for training for three months on Dec. 1.