'Risks' shouldn't slow Johnston


Maryland-bred champion Taking Risks returns to the races today and is just one of the mounts who figure to keep the 30 percent win streak alive for Pimlico's super-hot jockey, Mark Johnston.

Since the meet began April 4, Johnston has won 16 races on 42 mounts and has nearly swept the stakes at Old Hilltop.

Johnston scored with Tidal Surge in the opening-day Fire Plug Stakes, won the John B. Campbell Handicap last Saturday with Ameri Valay and kept the added-money streak alive yesterday with a four-length victory aboard Norstep in the Smart Halo Stakes.

His only stakes miss came on Sunday with Winwithwalker, who finished fourth in the Harriman Stakes.

At scratch time yesterday, Johnston picked up the mount on the speedy Fashion Maven for today's featured $50,000-added Primonetta Stakes.

Taking Risks has not raced since finishing fifth in the Meadowlands Cup in October. But the Two Punch gelding has been turning in fast workouts and is expected to go off a short price in today's eighth race.

He is scheduled to make his first 1995 stakes start on Preakness Day in the William Donald Schaefer Handicap.

Delaware threatens suit

A Delaware Park racing official said that the track, in Stanton, Del., may file a lawsuit to try to prohibit Pimlico/Laurel management from simulcasting out-of-state races at the Poor Jimmy's off-track betting outlet near Elkton.

Steve Kallens, marketing director at Delaware Park, said yesterday that "things are status quo" in the track's effort to reach a reciprocal simulcasting agreement with the Maryland mile tracks.

"So far, the only thing they have offered us is to take our signal on Wednesdays," Kallens said. "That's just not fair. We've been taking their signal every day all winter."

In response to Pimlico/Laurel's notice that it intended to drop the Delaware live races this year, Delaware stopped simulcasting the Pimlico card on Tuesday. The track's live meet begins today.

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