06/11/2002 11:00PM

Great Lakes Downs track report


MUSKEGON, Mich. - Peppy Mint heads a field of 10 Michigan-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings in the $45,000 Lansing Stakes on Friday at Great Lakes Downs.

Peppy Mint has won both of his starts this year. On May 25, he scored by 3 1/4 lengths in allowance company at 5 1/2 furlongs. His top rival is Spring Winds, who faced Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero War Emblem in March at Sportsman's Park and who won two stakes here last year.

* Chris Dragone, this track's new general manager, said track owner Magna Entertainment was "committed to Michigan racing and making this track work."

Dragone most recently served as chief of staff at Monmouth Park and has spent most of his racing career involved in simulcasting in New Jersey. Raised in Kentucky in a family heavily involved in racing and breeding, Dragone worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Boston before switching his focus to the racetrack.

In a meeting with employees Wednesday, Dragone outlined the four groups that were important to him - customers, employees, horsemen, and the community in general. "We see the horsemen as our partners, and we want to be of benefit to the community," he said.

* Jockey Joe Crispin, injured in a training mishap Tuesday morning, has been released from Mercy Hospital in Muskegon. Crispin, eighth in the rider standings, fractured a vertebrae in his neck, according to his agent, Matt Hook.

"The long-term prognosis is good," Hook said. "But short-term is not. He'll be out of the saddle for a while."

Hook said that doctors had given no date for a possible return.