Tag Archive | "Maryland Million Classic"

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Eighttofasttocatch leads entire way in Maryland Million Classic victory

Posted on 19 October 2013 by WNST Staff

EIGHTTOFASTTOCATCH PROVES TOO FAST TO CATCH IN MARYLAND MILLION CLASSIC

LAUREL, MD. 10-19-13—Sylvia E. Heft’s Eighttofasttocatch led from start to finish and won the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic for the second time in the past three years. Last year the son of Not For Love finished a fifth in the Classic as the betting favorite but this year things were completely different.

The Maryland Million is the one of the most important racing days at Laurel Park with 11 events for runners sired by Maryland-based stallions for combined purses totaling $1 million. The 28th annual event drew a crowd of 18,036 on a cool, crisp Saturdayafternoon in central Maryland.

Garrison Forest High School graduate Forest Boyce sent the 7-year old to the lead from his advantageous rail position and was able to nurse him around on the lead in 1:50.42 for the 1-1/8th mile distance. Eighttofasttocatch won under a drive by 3-1/4 lengths over Romancing the Gold, with Wild Louis taking third.

“It worked out great. We got away well,” Boyce said. “I thought someone might try us early, soften us up but it didn’t happen. My whole family is from here. My ninety year old grandmother came out today, which was really cool.”

Eighttofasttocatch is 2-for-6 this year, which includes a score in the Henry Clark Stakes and a gutsy second in the Pimlico Special (G3) on Preakness weekend. The 7-year-old now has seven career stakes victories at Laurel Park and has earned $794,585.

“I was very comfortable with where I had him coming into this race, but my concern was that I was comfortable last year and it didn’t go quite as well,” said winning trainer Tim Keefe. “I didn’t think I needed a prep for this race because we all felt that he was right. I guess my only concern now is that he is seven and we may only have him for another year or two. He will be hard to replace in our barn.”

The winner paid $2.60 as the popular favorite.

“I guess winning feels like I was pitching in the World Series,” said Arnold Heft, the husband of the winning owner. “The only thing bad is, I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow. My wife is not well. I’m just sorry she’s not here. She was here the last time. Racing keeps me going right now. When Eighttofasttocatch runs his race, he won’t get beat.”

Travis Dunkelberger (jockey, Romancing the Gold-2nd), “He tried hard and ran good. I wanted to push more but I didn’t want to cost us second.”

Trevor McCarthy (jockey, Wild Louis-3rd), “He ran his butt off today. The winner was much the best. This was his first time at the distance and he loved it but Eighttofasttocatch was just too fast.”

J.D. Acosta (jockey, Big Branch-4th), “I was in a comfortable spot and happy with the way he ran but the winner is just too classy.”

Xavier Perez (jockey, Talk Show Man-5th), “We didn’t get a good break. We came out nose first out of the gate. Then he relaxed and when I asked for more he ran well. We lost a lot of ground at the beginning which cost us the race.”

Kendrick Carmouche (jockey, Seventeenohsix-6th), “I was sitting in a perfect spot but there was no speed in the race other than the winner. You can’t do much about that.”

Julian Pimentel (jockey, Count to Seven-7th), ““He tried to make a little run at the end but they just ran away from him.”

Introduced in 1986, the Maryland Million has been duplicated by more than 20 other states. Hall of Fame TV Broadcaster Jim McKay originally proposed the Maryland Million concept and remained the Chairman of the Board until his death on June 7, 2008.

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Not Aboard claims Maryland Million Classic

Posted on 07 October 2012 by WNST Staff

NOT ABROAD TRIUMPHS IN MARYLAND MILLION CLASSIC 

LAUREL, MD. 10-06-12—Jockey Nick Petro and his mount Not Abroad saw an inviting opening along the rail as they circled the far turn. They galloped through the gaping hole, came out the clear leader and drew off to win the $150,000 Jim McKay Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park.

The Maryland Million is the most important racing day at Laurel Park with 11 races for runners sired by Maryland-based stallions for combined purses totaling $1.05 million. The 27th annual event drew a crowd of 18,420 on Saturday afternoon.

Trained by Petro’s brother Michael, Not Abroad is owned by Tim Cunningham and is a son of the Maryland stallion Not For Love. Regal Warrior, who led from the start, held for second while Tujoes rallied to finish third. The also-rans were Cactus Charlie (4th), defending champion Eighttofasttocatch (5th) and In the Juice (6th).

“I was happy with his performance,” said jockey Petro. “Real early we got stuck on the inside and I wasn’t happy with my spot. But we got closer and closer and everything worked out. We figured there would be a few horses outside of us with speed so we went in thinking, ‘sit’. We did and it worked out great when it was time to go. He was good. Real good.”

Not Abroad finished second in the Classic two years ago and was third last year.

“We had been in this race the last several years,” said trainer Petro. “We felt coming in today that we had a very good chance to win. He has been doing very well lately and we looked forward to this race. We had a great race and at the 3/8th’s pole everything opened up for us. My brother ran a very good race.”

This was his second stakes win of the year for Not Abroad after capturing the Jim French Memorial at Delaware in May. Not Abroad is an eight time winner from thirty-two starts and a winner of over $600,000.

Not Abroad paid $9.40. The exacta returned $63.80 and the triple paid $444.10.

Julian Pimentel (jockey, Regal Warrior-2nd) said, “He broke good. No problems. He tried hard we just ran into a better horse, I guess. Just couldn’t keep up down the lane with the winner.”

Angel Arroyo (jockey, Tujoes-3rd) said, “Good trip. Everything was fine. The horse finished up well.”

Shannon Uske (jockey, Cactus Charlie- 4th) said, “We were in a nice spot. He just didn’t fire down the lane. We had the trip we wanted. He just didn’t have the kick like we thought he would.”

Sheldon Russell (jockey, Eighttofasttocatch-5th) said, “I was happy with the trip but disappointed when I asked him to pick it up at the half-mile pole. We were struggling and he never got comfortable today. It was not our day.”

Tim Keefe (trainer, (jockey, Eighttofasttocatch-5th) said, “I am disappointed, obviously. I thought I had everything going in the right direction with him and said earlier in the week if he gets beat it would be by a better horse. Unfortunately he got beat by four better horses. I thought he would run a great race today. This was uncharacteristic of him.”

Wesley Ho (jockey, In The Juice-6th) said, “He tried hard but he got tired at the end.”

Introduced in 1986, the Maryland Million has been duplicated by more than 20 other states. Hall of Fame TV Broadcaster Jim McKay originally proposed the Maryland Million concept and remained the Chairman of the Board until his death on June 7, 2008.

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