Pregnancy and a summer heat wave did little to deter the filly White Cliffs from finding her customary spot yesterday in the winner's circle.
The 3-year-old filly, fastest of her sex and age group at the sprint distances at Maryland tracks, came out of a brief retirement to add another stakes victory to her list of credits.
Double Sawbuck might have broken fastest yesterday in Pimlico's $31,675 Office Queen Stakes, but it didn't take long for White Cliffs to move to the front. Once there, she set all the fractions in the six-furlong -- under jockey Omar Klinger and held on as the 6-5 favorite for a popular one-length victory over Philadelphia Park invader I'll Get Along.
It was the seventh victory in 10 starts for the daughter of Dover Ridge and increased her earnings to more than $150,000. While never a competitor in graded company, White Cliffs has won four stakes.
But don't expect the 3-year-old filly to be around too long.
Her comeback will be briefer than her recent 5-month rest.
Trainer Carlos Garcia said he has scheduled "one or two more races" for the horse, which dominated the 3-year-old filly ranks last winter at Laurel Park. But once her knees began to bother her last spring, and she lost the Notches Traces Stakes to long shot Square Up The Bet, Garcia announced White Cliffs' retirement and owner Ralph O'Connor shipped her to Florida to be bred to the speedy Caller I.D.
But the filly came sound and it was decided "that instead of doing nothing, we might as well run her again," Garcia said. So an in-foal White Cliffs, now about 90 days pregnant, came back to Laurel around June 1 and in two months was ready to run.
Snell resigns at Rosecroft
The managerial shakeup under the new administration of the Bally Entertainment Corp. has begun at Rosecroft and Delmarva raceways.
Yesterday, Ted Snell, president of the tracks for nearly four years under the auspices of former owner Colt Enterprises, announced that he is leaving, effective Aug. 31.
Snell has been appointed executive vice president and general manager of Pompano Park in Pompano Beach, Fla., a harness track that recently was purchased by the Casino America Corp.
The Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners' Association, which owns Rosecroft/Delmarva, and Bally, which manages them, has yet to announce a replacement for Snell.
However, industry sources say it is likely to be Dennis Dowd, an attorney who is a former chairman of the New Jersey Racing Commission and who currently is president of Freehold Raceway in Freehold, N.J.