Among the horses who have beaten Raghib are Coronado's Quest and Lil's Lad.
So, it was no surprise that the New York invader was established as the favorite in yesterday's $75,000 Deputed Testamony Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
And the son of Phone Trick upheld his billing with a hard-earned length victory over P Day, who nosed out Farwell Look for the place.
Raghib is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, but assistant Bob Witham was here for the Maryland-bred stakes over 1 1/8 miles.
"He's growing up and getting better," said Witham of the winner, who covered the distance in 1 minute, 50 3/5 seconds over a fast track. "He had an accident in Florida in the winter and that was the reason for two bad races."
Now 3-for-7 lifetime, Raghib broke sluggishly, but surged to the lead after a quarter mile and never surrendered it with Frank Lovato Jr. in the irons.
"He settled in on the backstretch after he took the lead, then let them eyeball him before he went ahead and scooted off to victory," said Lovato.
"We were hoping he'd get a fairly easy lead because the shape of Pimlico helps speed," said Witham. "Then he showed a lot of heart."
The disappointment in the race was Maryland Million Nursery winner Carnivorous Habit, never a factor after being made a solid second choice.
In his only previous stakes appearance, Sheik Maktoum al Maktoum's runner finished eighth to Coronado's Quest at Aqueduct.
D. Guilford in Delaware
Veteran turf runner D. Guilford, 12 years old, is now headquartered at Delaware Park in the charge of trainer David Taylor.
Developed by trainer J. B. Secor (an assistant to Charlie Fenwick), D. Guilford is nearing his 100th career start. He won for the 34th time May 22.
Taylor's wife, Kendra, has been the jockey in 11 of the horse's past 12 wins.
Also at Delaware, Ben Perkins Sr. is the hot trainer with 19 victories among his first 32 starters.
Horse ambulance on way
Pimlico and Laurel Park are receiving a state-of-the art horse ambulance that should be in service when Laurel opens later this month.
Track superintendent John Passero said the full package of new equipment will cost more than $100,000 and will be "just great for horses.
"Probably the most significant thing is the back wheels that allow you to lower the floor to the ground and the horse to step on to the ambulance without climbing a ramp."
Contract agreement reached
Local 27 of the Food & Commercial Workers union reached agreement with the Maryland Jockey Club on a new two-year contract last week. By a 5-1 margin, the group also approved its agreement with the tracks on the facilities-use issue that is still in question for horsemen and breeders' organizations.
Post times: Wednesday-Sunday, 1 p.m.
Out-of-town simulcasts: For results, scratches, call 410-792-7464.
Pub Date: 6/08/98