Gray Mood responded to Edgar Prado's urging in the stretch yesterday and the result was a victory in the 29th running of the $75,000 Chrysanthemum Stakes at Laurel Park.
A roan daughter of Relaunch, Gray Mood overtook favored Cox Orange and front-running Putthepowdertoit, winning by 2 3/4 lengths to add $45,000 to the account of owner Roland E. Thompson.
Time for the 1 1/8 miles over a firm grass course was a respectable 1 minute, 48 seconds.
It was the fourth winner of the card for Prado, who scored on three straight betting choices in the third, fourth and fifth races.
"I stayed right behind the speed," said Prado. "At the three-eighths pole I asked her to pick it up and she did. She ran beautifully."
Cox Orange, like Gray Mood a New York invader, also laid off the pacesetters under Richard Migliore, making her move coming off the final turn to take the lead by a head in the early portion of the stretch.
"I made my move and got to the front," said Migliore. "Then along comes this other horse [Gray Mood] and she pokes her head in front. I think she was the best out there."
Cox Orange (third) had beaten Gray Mood (fourth) on Oct. 18 at Aqueduct in the Grade III Athenia Handicap won by Lady Affirmed.
"I didn't know who was going to be the toughest opposition today," said Migiliore. "But I beat the winner by a nose in the Athena. I knew she could run."
Prado was back at Laurel after riding Western Echo to a sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Saturday.
Gray Mood, trained by Tommy Skiffington, has earned more than $200,000 in her 15-race career.
NOTES: Clarence "Jo Jo" Ladner will be taking his tack to Louisiana to ride for Maryland-based horsemen Dick Small, Paul Seefeldt and John Scanlan at the Fair Grounds this winter. . . . Total Maryland wagering on Breeders' Cup day, including all simulcasts, was $4,159,773, a 13.2 percent increase over 1993. . . . An unusual double objection had all four top finishers flashing on the board after the third race yesterday. But when the stewards had sorted it all out, only Theycallmecharlie, who finished first, was disqualified. Favored Ivory Hunter, with Prado, was placed first after being impeded in the stretch run. . . . Frank Wycheck and Bobby Wilson will be the Washington Redskins appearing at Sunday's racing seminar at 11 a.m.