Ardent Arab, claimed for $14,000 only six months ago, more than returned that investment yesterday, leading all the way to win the $51,895 Bowie Stakes at Laurel Park.
It was the second stakes victory for the speedster, champion of the $135,000 West Virginia Breeders' Cup at Charles Town in October.
The result -- and $32,100 winner's share -- pushed Ardent Arab's lifetime earnings to more than $227,000 and earned him a rest from trainer Donald Campbell.
"I'm giving him the winter off. He's earned it," Campbell said.
The race field was cut in half by scratches and only four started in the six-furlong sprint for older horses. Nightlong rains that continued into the morning precipitated the scratches.
Favored Ardent Arab was never seriously challenged in setting fractions of 23 seconds, 46 4/5 and 58 1/5. He finished with a 3 1/4 -length margin on closer Mary's Buckaroo in 1: 10 1/5 over a dried-out fast track.
Campbell claimed Ardent Arab for $14,000 and has won four races with him. He has also run second to Pappa Purdy, one of yesterday's scratches, in two others.
He originally tried to claim the gelding for $8,500 at Pimlico.
"[But] I lost the shake [lot draw] to King Leatherbury," Campbell said. "He ran him back for $14,000 and I took him."
Jockeys Seth Martinez and Logan Cormier escaped serious injury during the fourth race after Martinez dismounted from Unveiled Silence at the half-mile pole.
Unveiled Silence veered in front of Cormier's mount, Peace Lover, causing him to be thrown.
Martinez will begin a five-day suspension starting Wednesday for a ride in August.
Phila. Park 12: 45 p.m.
Aqueduct 1 p.m.
Calder 1 p.m.
Hawthorne 1 p.m.
Hollywood Park 1 p.m.
Turfway 7 p.m.
Pub Date: 12/15/96