P Day won the feature at Laurel Park yesterday, hugging a favorable rail on the turf course for an easy score.
But the real star was Awad, the second leading Maryland-bred winner of all time who was paraded in front of an appreciative crowd before the stakes race named for him.
With Gregg McCarron aboard and trainer David Donk on hand to supervise, one of the state's all-time top runners cantered around the track as a prelude to his retirement at stud at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City.
Owned by James Ryan and Ryehill Farm, Awad, 8, won 11 stakes and more than $3.2 million in a 70-race career and trailed only Cigar in earnings among state-breds.
In the $56,400 Awad Stakes, jockey Mario Verge astutely took advantage of the inside on the grass course to better rallying Carnivorous Habit by 2 3/4 lengths at 8-to-1 odds.
"I was told to keep him close. He took the lead early and kept going," said Verge who took his charge through quick fractions of 22 4/5 seconds, 47 1/5 and 1: 12 1/5 before winning in 1: 49 1/5.
With the two favorites, La Reine's Terms and Pay Zone finishing back in the pack, a trifecta of P Day, Carnivorous Habit and Moravian Gate returned a whopping $1,287.20.
P Day is owned and trained by Charles H. Hadry, who also bred the colt by Private Terms.
Named for Preakness Day (the date of his birth), P Day shares the name of Awad's regular jockey, Pat Day.
P Day earned $33,840 to boost his career winnings above $107,000. Hadry is uncertain of his next start.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup have teamed up to explore jointly the promotion and marketing of racing.
The agreement is expected to entail revenue-based activities such as licensing and merchandising.
They intend to sell properties at big races around the country.
Post time: Today, Wednesday-Saturday, 1 p.m.
Out-of-town simulcasts: For results, scratches, call 410-792-7464.
Pub Date: 8/09/98