10/24/2009 12:00AM

Find Handicap distance change at Laurel


Heavy rains overnight in central Maryland curtailed the number of turf races on Saturday's Frank De Francis Memorial Dash card at Laurel Park and forced a distance change in the Find Handicap.

Two of the four events scheduled for grass were moved to the main track. A $16,000 claimer (race 3) and a first-level optional $50,000 claimer for 2-yaar-olds (race 5) were both shifted to one mile on a dirt track listed as fast.

The Find Handicap (race 8) and a claiming sprint (race 10) remained on turf, although the stakes was shortened from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/16 miles because it was shifted from the far inside lanes to lane 5 on the six-lane turf Laurel course that was listed as firm.

The field for the featured Grade 1, $300,000 De Francis dropped to eight with the early scratch of the 20-1 monring-line longshot Saratoga Russell, who reportedly showed symptons of colic.