Gang, foreground, outgames Signit to win the Woodlawn.

Gang, foreground, outgames Signit to win the Woodlawn.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Gang Rallies to Win Scratch-Filled Woodlawn

Charging from the back of the five-horse field, Gang powered his way to victory by a nose in the $125,000 Woodlawn Stakes at Pimlico Saturday.

Taken off the turf because of heavy rains in the Baltimore area, the Woodlawn was run on a main track upgraded to good just before the race.

Gang made the Woodlawn his first stakes victory after finishing fifth two races back in the Federico Tesio Stakes over the same strip. Gang hit the wire in 1:46.05 under Tony Mawing.

The 3-year-old colt is owned by Michael Ward II and is trained by Randy Allen. Gang, who trains at Philadelphia Park, was bred in Kentucky by Ted Bates. Gang's victory was his third from seven starts and the win pushes his lifetime earnings over the $100,000 mark.

"When the track came up muddy, I knew we a good chance today," Allen said. "We wanted the turf, but I'll take what we got. They called and told me the race was moved to dirt and I told them I was coming to run. Next time we're going to try grass to see if he gets any better."

When the gates opened, Hot Hand went to the lead from his inside post, but was quickly joined by Breanna's Smile. They raced together up the backstretch and were joined by Signit through fractions of :24.06 and :48.18.

Breanna's Smile took the lead into the second turn before Signit ranged up and appeared the winner in upper stretch. But Gang came on with a strong late move, but was all out to barely edge Signit, who came back on after Gang had gotten the advantage in deep stretch.

"He got to the front and kind of waited," Mawing said. "I said 'Let's go, buddy,' and it was over."

Nik Goodwin, who rode Signit, thought his horse would win it.

"He handled the track very, very well, did everything I asked, and I had a good feeling in the stretch. I thought we were going to win it, but the other guy got me in the last jump."

Gang returned $18, $7.20, and $4.20. Signit held second and paid $5.80 and $3.80. Breanna's Smile returned $4 to show.

Scratched from the Woodlawn were Brush With Gold, Kicken Kris, Urban King, Prospect's Thunder, Il Barone, Hypnotist, and Silver Tree.

(Chart, Equibase)