Bettors obviously didn't think much of La Reine's Terms' chances to win the $60,000 Humphrey S. Finney Stakes yesterday at Laurel Park.
They made the Private Terms colt the longest shot in a field of eight -- based primarily on his sluggish performance against four of the same rivals in the Deputed Testamony Stakes on June 7.
La Reine's Terms finished a well-beaten sixth in the Deputed Testamony. Yesterday, however, the surface changed from dirt to turf.
"He got a lot of dirt in his face that day and said, 'That's it. I'm not going anywhere,' " said trainer Larry Murray. "Everything out of this mare [La Reine Elaine] does much better on the grass."
With jockey Carlos Marquez urging him forward, La Reine's Terms remained unbeaten in two starts on the infield oval. He had broken his maiden April 29 at Pimlico with Larry Reynolds subbing for Marquez.
"I was a little sick that day," Marquez said. "And Larry did a good job. I want to thank him for letting me ride him back."
Still, La Reine's Terms needed all he had in the tank to hold off the onrushing favorite, Close The Book, who was closing the gap with every stride in the final eighth of a mile.
He won by a head, with Carnivorous Habit another 2 1/4 lengths back in third.
"Our plans were to lay off the pace. They went in 23 [seconds] early and then slowed it down to 48," Marquez said. "I let him coast up to them, and when I asked him to go at the quarter pole, he just accelerated."
Murray said he had no specific races in mind for the horse because, "I wanted to see him get by this race. The only thing is to keep racing him on the grass."
La Reine's Terms finished 1 1/8 miles in 1: 49 3/5.
Hawley steps away
Hall of Fame jockey Sandy Hawley has announced his retirement from riding and will be honored on the E. P. Taylor turf course Wednesday on Canada Day.
Hawley, 49, has joined the Ontario Jockey Club's media communications department as a goodwill ambassador.
His mounts earned nearly $89 million and he twice won the Lou Marsh Trophy, given to Canada's outstanding athlete.
Mimi Voss, wife of national steeplechase training champion Tom Voss, made some waves of her own last month with three victories to win the Owner of the Month award. She runs the business side of their operation and manages five broodmares. VTC Touch Gold returned yesterday with an impressive victory in an allowance event at Churchill Downs. Bothered by a hoof problem, the 1997 Belmont winner hadn't run since last fall's Breeders' Cup Classic, in which he finished last. Laurel unveiled Blinkers, its new mascot for the Pony Pals Kids Club, which started yesterday.
Pub Date: 6/29/98