01/02/2004 1:00AM

No title may accompany big stakes win


For the first time in more than a decade, a win in the Maryland Juvenile Championship races may not result in being named champion Maryland-bred 2-year-old.

On Dec. 31 at Laurel Park, White Mountain Boy pushed his record to 3 for 3 with his dominating victory in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship for colts and geldings. Pour It On went from last to first to capture the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship at 36-1, while overwhelming favorite Richetta, seeking her fourth consecutive stakes victory, failed to hit the board.

White Mountain Boy, bred by Jim Moran's Elk Manor Farm and owned by Michael Gill, had everything his own way. Setting all the fractions while lengths ahead of his closest pursuers, White Mountain Boy cruised to a six-length victory over favorite Cryptic Skier. The victory validated White Mountain Boy's previous start, in which he was awarded victory in the Rollicking Stakes after being interfered with in the stretch.

Most years, victories in both Maryland-bred 2-year-old colt stakes would guarantee a championship. But multiple graded stakes winner Perfect Moon, the state's top 2-year-old earner of 2003, heads the division.

Randy Cohen, who campaigns homebred Pour It On with his father, Albert Cohen, in the name of Hickory Plains Farm, wants voters to hold on before handing out the title of champion 2-year-old filly to Richetta.

"Pour It On has provided a serious argument with her win," Randy Cohen said.

Pour It On, a daughter of Cryptoclearance out of Quality Control, another Cohen homebred by their now deceased stallion Cojak, was expected to improve as the distances got longer. The Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship at 1 1/8 miles appeared to be a good race to include on Pour It On's schedule, although trainer Hamilton Smith may not have been too sure. "I thought the owner put me in a really bad situation but everything worked out fine," said Smith following the race. Randy Cohen responded, "I can't wait to put him in that bad situation again."

Pour It On may have appeared to be in over her head, with a $25,000 maiden claiming victory and two seconds, also in claiming company, from four starts on her resume, but the dark bay filly proved her heart in the Juvenile Filly Championship. "She has incredible patience," said Cohen of Pour It On, who was biding her time at the back of the seven-horse field during the early running. When she made her move, Pour It On came up on the rail and "showed incredible heart and bravery," said Cohen. It took the length of the stretch for Pour It On to get to the front, and she drove past Sea of Promises to win by a half-length.

Hickory Plains Farm runners have had marked success in both Juvenile Championship races since the mid-1990's. True Sensation won the fillies race in 2000, In the Front Row finished second the year before, and Mysterious Jak placed third in 1998. Red Star Rose took the 1998 running for colts, and was named that year's Maryland-bred champion 2-year-old male, the year after Carnivorous Habit was second. Hickory Plains was second again in 1999 with the colt Tantor.

In the 2003 running of the Juvenile for colts, the Hickory Plains-owned Kwame, the longest priced runner at 39-1, finished third in the strung out field of six.

Crypto Star leading freshman sire

It was a battle to the wire, but the second-place finish of Cryptic Skier in the Juvenile Championship helped Crypto Star of Murmur Farm maintain his ranking over Diamond from Northview Stallion Station as the state's leading freshman sire.

Diamond got the jump on the title when his son Red Velvet Cake, bred and owned by Albert Cohen and Randy Cohen, won the Tri-State Futurity at Charles Town in October.

But Crypto Star, a multiple graded-stakes-winning son of Cryptoclearance, came on late. Stephan's Angel became Crypto Star's first stakes winner with her victory in Aqueduct's Mom's Command Stakes on Dec. 12. From 16 runners, Crypto Star has six winners and earnings of nearly $250,000. Diamond finishes the year with six winners from 20 starters, and earnings just shy of $175,000.