Three weeks ago Zilber criticized Sandy Hawley's ride on Dahlia in the $150,000 Canadian International, asserting that the jockey had waited too long before moving in the stretch. Hawley must be doing something right, though. This year his mounts have earned $3.2 million, up $1 million from his best previous season. At Laurel, Zilber first listed St. Martin to ride Nobiliary and Hawley to ride Dahlia. But he had a pretty good idea that wouldn't work because St. Martin is too heavy to accept the 117 pounds assigned to Nobiliary, the lightweight in the race. Thus, Hawley got to ride her.
"Nobiliary has an extremely sensitive mouth," Hawley said afterward. "You have to use a light touch with her." And he did exactly that.
Zilber was asked what he thought of Hawley's performance. "Some days he rides well," was the response.
More important is the fact that Nobiliary will be running in this country, at least for a while. With the death of Ruffian, the retirement of Wajima and Susan's Girl and the sad prospect that grand old Forego might not be able to return from the latest of his injuries, she is most welcome.