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Rain forces cancellation, 2 switches


The $25,000 Steeplechase was canceled yesterday because of the wet turf and probably won't be rescheduled.

"You can't run that race on dirt because the footing isn't good enough going into jumps," said Laurel chief operations officer John Mooney.

Two races that were to be run on grass were shifted to the main track, including the $100,000 Maryland Turf.

Despite the showery weather, a thunderstorm late in the the card and the switches off the turf, there were few late scratches.

"Horsemen are not here to scratch today. They're here to run," Mooney said.

Mz. Zill Bear wins again

The horse jockey Steve Hamilton called "the old girl", Mz. Zill Bear, joined Countus In as a three-time winner of the $125,000 Maryland Ladies.

Only one other entry, Safely Kept (Distaff) has captured three Million races.

The 6-year-old mare had no problems with the switch from turf to the sloppy main track, drawing away easily from Icy Warning in the stretch.

"She likes the off track, and actually, I was worried that they wouldn't take it off the turf," Hamilton said. "The ones we had to beat were in front of us, and that's where you want them."

Mz. Zill Bear's trainer, Ron Cartwright, posted his fifth Million triumph overall, keeping pace with King Leatherbury, one behind Billy Boniface, the lifetime leader.

Urbane rolls in Oaks

Urbane, who was foaled at Country Life Farm in Bel Air, breezed at 1-to-5 odds as expected in the Oaks.

One of the country's top fillies, she was returning from a five-month injury layoff after finishing second in the Kentucky Oaks.

Trainer Randy Bradshaw said afterward that he is pointing toward future meetings with Serena's Song during the 4-year-old campaign in California.

"This is only her first race back, and I'd like to have a month between races," he said.


Urbane was one of three winners yesterday sired by Citidancer (Mystic Rhythms in the Lassie and Short Stay in the Turf were the others). With one win each, stallions Deputed Testamony, Horatius and Salutely tied Caveat at the top of the Million standings. . . . As a 4-year-old, Prenup couldn't repeat his 1994 win in the Sprint, finishing fourth behind late-running Foxie G. . . . Trainer John Dowd said he may consider the Breeders' Cup for Mystic Rhythms, who cruised by 4 1/2 lengths in the Lassie. "It will depend on how well she comes out of this race," Dowd said.

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