Daniel M. Borislow's Talk Is Money was tested all the way to the finish line by Marciano but prevailed in an all-out drive to win the $50,000 Miracle Wood Stakes, Saturday's co-feature at Laurel Park.Talk Is Money, who had run off before the start and was scratched when scheduled to face Marciano in the Ambernash Stakes on December 30, extended his career record to two wins in two starts.
Jockey Mario Verge has been aboard both times for trainer John Scanlan. The highly regarded son of Deputy Minister won his debut by 9 3/4 lengths.Racing around two turns for the first time, Talk Is Money completed the 1-1/16 mile distance in 1:45 4/5 over a fast main track. Marciano, who battled Action Request down the backstretch and then fought head-to-head with the winner the rest of the way, finished second, 3/4 of a length behind. Bay Eagle was third. The winner paid $5.00. The 8-1 exacta paid $11.40 and the 8-1-7 trifecta paid $148.40.Jockey Verge said, "I decided to try to make the lead right from the gate, but as we approached the first turn, it seemed as if everybody inside us had the same idea. We got caught about five wide heading into the turn, but I was able to drop down half way around going into the backstretch. We were in the three path stalking the leaders through the half-mile mark. He was very relaxed, and I had the wind at my back, so we just reserved our energy and caught our breath. Going into the turn Marciano had shaken loose on the lead so I went up to him gradually. We ran around the turn together. At the top of the lane I thought I was going to inch away, but the other horse didn't give in. I really had to get into my horse the last eighth of a mile to prevail. He was getting a little tired." Trainer Scanlan said, "I would have preferred to run him 7/8ths, but it seemed like every time we were entered bad luck would hit us. One race he flipped, ran off and was scratched. The next time he got sick and was scratched. Then he was entered and it snowed. In this business you have to go when you can go. He's a $1.8 million dollar purchase so it will take a lot of money and some graded races to merit the value, but he proved today he is very talented."Scanlan added, "This is the best racing surface in the country. We've leased a barn here for the next five years. I train exclusively for Mr. Borsilow, and we have several nice horses we will be racing here in Maryland in upcoming months. This colt's next start could be anywhere there's a good 3-year-old race, but he will make Maryland his home base."(Chart, Equibase)