ridden by Maryland’s own Andrea Seefeldt Knight, came flying on the
outside to win the Lady Legends for the Cure V, presented by Wells
Fargo, on Friday at Pimlico Race Course.
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
by Pimlico-based Frannie Campitelli, Zuerstgold splashed home a neck in
front of Graced in a thrilling conclusion to the event, created in 2010
as a way to celebrate the women who blazed a trail for future female
jockeys as well as raise awareness and funds in the fight against breast
its debut, the event was the first ever pari-mutuel race showcasing
retired female jockeys, profiled on NBC and filmed as the climatic
ending to the feature-length documentary, ‘JOCK,’ chronicling the story
of the first generation of lady riders.
year, it was held in conjunction with ‘The Ultimate Girls Day Out,’ a
partnership between Pimlico; Susan G. Komen for the Cure, global leader
of the breast cancer movement; and Baltimore-based Suited To Succeed in a
day supporting issues important to women.
Sent off at 6-1, Zuerstgold paid $15.20 to win on a $2 bet, running six furlongs in 1:12.70 on a sloppy main track.
had so much fun prepping and getting ready for it,” Seefeldt said. “The
media interest has been great. There’s been a lot of good coverage, and
to get people to the races is great. It was a lot of fun.”
51, is one of the three original Lady Legends who competed in Friday’s
race, along with Patti ‘PJ’ Cooksey and Cheryl White. Cooksey and White
are the only Lady Legends to take part in all five races.
Lady Legends champion Jennifer Rowland-Small, the pioneering female
rider in Maryland in the 1970s, and Barbara Jo Rubin, the first woman to
win a pari-mutuel race against males at a recognized track, both missed
the event for the first time with injuries. All 10 women participated
in a morning autograph event at Pimlico.
since 1994 with 604 wins and nearly $8 million in purse earnings,
Seefeldt returned to the event after a two-year absence. She dedicated
Friday’s win to her sister-in-law, Danica Roki Seefeldt, who is battling
just found out yesterday that she went for a lumpectomy, so this is for
her,” Seefeldt said. “I saw the overnight and I was in the one hole and
it was sloppy. I knew I wanted to close with the horse, but that’s
really hard to do, to let the other ones go and be back there and be in
traffic. If you’ve ever been on the highway with two semi trucks on
either side of you, it’s really hard to make yourself go up in there.”
being outrun early, Seefeldt steered Zuerstgold to the far outside at
the top of the stretch and closed steadily for the 5-year-old Candy Ride
gelding’s third win in six races this year. In her two Lady Legends
starts, Seefeldt was second in 2010 and third in 2011.
a muddy day and everybody wants to send because you want to be in
front,” said Seefeldt, her face caked with mud. “I wanted to be in
front, but I had the one hole and if I sent him I’d probably just have
enough speed to be in trouble. If I rode the way I rode in the old days,
I’d let the other guys go and make a late run. I knew that’s what I
needed to do; I just didn’t know if I had the nerve to do it, but I
Clark-Rodgers, a 1994 Sovereign Award nominee as Canada’s top
apprentice who was making her second appearance in the race, was on the
lead with Graced in mid-stretch but eased up about 40 yards from the
finish and got beat at the wire. She also finished second in her debut
was awesome and did nothing wrong,” Clark-Rodgers said. “Everything was
going great and I just screwed up and misjudged the wire. It’s been a
while since I hit the wire first. It was fun for all the connections. We
always have a lot of fun every year. It’s kind of sad it’s not
Purcell Burkland, the only female jockey to win the All American
Futurity (G1) Quarter Horse race, was third with Big Blue Talent in her
Lady Legends debut.
colt ended up being a little rough going into the gate,” she said. “He
didn’t get off very well. Then [Rojo Perfecto] left in front of me, and
my horse grabbed a quarter really badly. I was just trying to find a
spot, but he got stuck down on the rail coming out of the turn. When we
finally got through, he came again. It’s really nice to be a part of
this day. Everyone at the track treats us real nice.”
fourth on even-money favorite Big Lute was another event newcomer,
Sharon Gunther, who won 274 races and nearly $1.3 million in purses and
now works as the horse identifier at Delaware Park.
broke good and I had perfect position,” she said. “I was right where I
wanted to be. He took the lead around the turn on his own. Turning for
home, I thought we were going to win it. It was a nice clean trip. He is
a nice horse to ride.”
Fuller, 55, the first female to sweep New York’s Triple Tiara for
fillies with Mom’s Command in 1985, was fifth with It’s My Perogative.
broke super, but they said he doesn’t have that much speed,” she said.
“I thought he was going to give me a really good run midway on the turn,
and he did, but then some dirt hit him. I don’t think mud is his
preferred surface. He didn’t slip or slide; he just didn’t extend. This
is always great fun though. I’ll miss it.”
56, herself a breast cancer survivor and one of two females to ride in
both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was sixth with Rojo Perfecto.
was fitter this year than any other year,” she said. “I thought it
would be better to come off the pace. We ran good and rode hard. It’s
sad that this is the last year for the event. It’s all about awareness.”
Cheryl White, 60, the first African-American female rider, was seventh aboard Macho Spaces.
horse was too far back to be competitive,” she said. “It felt great to
ride. I've ridden in every one of these. This is a great event. This is
the last one. I don't know why, they didn't tell us, but I'm sorry to
see it ended."
Kreidel, 42, an outrider in Maryland who won 190 races and $3 million
in purses between 1992 and 2012, was eighth on Clowning Around. It was
her first time as a Lady Legend.
had a blast. The horse was a perfect dream,” she said. “[Trainer
Crystal Pickett] said he didn’t like mud so I chased him out of the
gate, dropped over toward the rail and saved as much horse as I could. I
thought I was going to hang on for third, but inside the eighth pole he
was just done. I enjoyed my trip. I just wish the race was
five-eighths; I might have had a shot to get some money.”