11/12/2005 1:00AM

Laurel: Gold Casing wire to wire


Gold Casing, the co-second choice in the $75,000 Northern Dancer at Laurel, led for the entire 1 1/8 miles to register a four-length upset over odds-on Promenade Girl, the only filly in the field of eight 3-year-olds.

Ridden by Jozbin Santana, Gold Casing got clear early and set a moderate pace of 23.76 seconds, 47.69, and 1:13.02 as Promenade Girl and Luis Garcia rated in third. Promenade Girl advanced between horses nearing the lane and came three wide for the stretch drive, but Gold Casing had plenty left. Serious Lightning was nosed out for second.

Trained by William Hairfield for Ajax Enterprises, Gold Casing ($9.40) was clocked in 1:53.18 on a fast track.

* A chain-reaction spill in the first race left three jockeys injured, including leading rider Rosie Napravnik, who fractured her collarbone and will miss four to six weeks. Walter Cullum suffered a sprained wrist and a concussion, and Chris Russell was unconscious for two minutes on the track but was released after undergoing tests at Howard County Hospital.

Jockey Charles Forrest also was thrown to the track but was able to ride the next race. No horses were seriously injured.