David Hayden first made a name for himself in the horse business by breeding champion sprinter Safely Kept.
Now, the Baltimore County owner is enjoying additional success after persevering with another fast horse, Goldminer's Dream.
Yesterday, the 6-year-old runner, hampered over the years by numerous injuries, stamped himself as the local horse to beat in the coming Frank J. De Francis Dash when he raced six furlongs in 1 minute, 9 3/5 seconds in Laurel Park's $78,600 Housebuster Stakes.
Ron Cartwright, trainer of the more lightly-regarded Crumpton, thought the only way to beat the Hayden runner was to get the jump on him out of the gate.
The strategy almost worked as Crumpton opened up a length lead for the first four-to-five furlongs. But there was no denying the gritty Goldminer's Dream, who was sent off as the even-money favorite.
Under Omar Klinger, the horse closed tenaciously along the rail in the stretch and thwarted Crumpton's best career effort by a length.
Hayden was quick to give his trainer, Ann Merryman, credit for the continuing top form displayed by Goldminer's Dream, who is now 3-for-5 this year.
"This horse has had everything -- a fractured cannonbone in a hind leg, chips [bone fragments] removed from his ankles and knees and a bowed tendon," Hayden said. "But Ann has kept him together and has got the perfect read on him."
Now that Who Wouldn't is on the sidelines and other aces Montbrook, Secret Odds and Smart Alec have been retired to stud, Goldminer's Dream has moved to the head of the list among local sprinters. Among his opposition for a $300,000 purse in the De Francis Dash on July 15 could be nationally-known sprinters Soviet Problem, Commanche Trail and Friendly Lover.
Cartwright and Jerry Robb, trainer of third-place Housebuster finisher, Ace's Orphan, also will consider the De Francis Dash.
The goose nuisance
Forget the threat from casino gambling and a horse shortage. The biggest problem facing Maryland racing at the moment seems to be that pesky gaggle of geese in Laurel's infield.
Yesterday, they waddled onto the dirt track during the running of the eighth race and once again victimized jockey Mark Johnston.
On Friday, Johnston's mount, Lizzie of Live Oak, stepped on one, as she raced near the lead in the turf feature and lost the race.
Yesterday, Johnston swerved with front-runner One Accord to miss hitting them.
Management is considering feeding the geese corn before post time to keep the fowl firmly in the infield.
Colts Ltd. wins show
Trainer Nick Zito selected a filly sired by Polish Numbers as champion at the Maryland Horse Breeders' Association Yearling Show at Timonium.
The filly, named Earth to Jackie, is owned by the Colts Ltd. stable of former Maryland Million president Roger Schipke and his wife, Jacqueline.