"We'll take him home to Virginia now and give him a little break," said winning trainer Neil Morris. "We'll probably try to bring him back at Tampa (early March) where he won last year." (Charts, Equibase)
Favored P.C. Plod beat Plumb Bob by a neck in the $50,000 Tropical Park Steeplechase (NSA-III) at Calder on Sunday. Ethical Actions was third in the 2 1/4-mile race, three-quarters of a length back. Teb's Bend, who was in front with three hurdles remaining, stumbled and lost his rider. He was second choice at 5-2. Hokan was pulled up in the stretch and his jockey, Cyril Murphy, was able to regain control of the loose Teb's Bend.P.C. Plod was ridden by Matthew McCarron, nephew of Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron. "He got a little keener than I hoped coming through the stretch the second time and went head and head for the lead," said McCarron of the winner. "Fortunately I was able to get him back around the turn and tucked in again and he relaxed for me. We got bothered a bit by the horse that lost his rider. He got knocked off stride and sandwiched between horses, which backed him off a little more. We got back in gear and got lucky and got up the inside turning for home. We had a good long run to the last, but he's still learning and green and just didn't give it to me. He kind of trashed the last fence. If he had jumped when I asked him, he would have won by a length. He was gutsy enough to recover from the mistake and make it." P.C. Plod, a 5-year-old son of Pleasant Tap owned by Kinross Farm, was timed in 4:19. He paid $5.80, $4.80, and $3.40. Plumb Bob paid $13.60 and $5.60. Ethical Actions paid $4.80 to show. The other hurdle race on the card was an allowance contest at the same distance. Unalienable Right broke on top, opened a 30-length lead, and won by 25 3/4 lengths. His time was 10 seconds faster than P.C. Plod's. Calder, which is open from late May to early January, gave the jumpers a one-day exposure for the third straight year. In 1999 and 2000, only one jump race was scheduled.