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2012 was a Very Good Year for Maryland Racing

I'll Have Another defeats Bodemeister in the Preakness

 

With just a handful more racing days remaining in 2012, it’s time to reach back into your memory bank and think about the most exciting race you witnessed this year. We tend to recall those races that caught national attention. The 2012 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes were all exciting. How about the Alpha / Golden Ticket dead heat in The Travers?

Where is it written that only (graded) stakes races are worthy of being mentioned in a list of “Most Exciting Races of 2012”? If you are a true fan of the Sport of Kings, you can appreciate the beauty of a terrific stretch duel to the wire or an amazing closing kick, whether it be in a Grade 1 or low level claiming race.

With that being said, were you one of maybe just a few hundred who witnessed an awesome race at Beulah Park, Portland Meadows or whatever small track you follow on a regular basis? Or it could be a race at a major track that happened one weekday with little fanfare. If so, share your story and link to video of the race (if available).

Here are my Top 10 Maryland races of 2012

10. Black-Eyed Susan – May 18th– Race 10 @ Pimlico
 
 
  

 

 In Lingerie was looking tight as a drum while impressively pulling away from the field.

 



 9. 107-1 Winner – March 21st – Race 9 @ Laurel Park
    
    

 

A 1 for 18 lifetime low-level claimer Wire Funds proves that running on turf versus dirt can be like night and day. This one was first time on grass (for $10,500 tag) while stepping up from the $5k claiming ranks on dirt, failing to have hit the board in his previous 5 outings. After winning this one, he came back to win his next 3 on the lawn against $12.5k Claimers, $25k Claimers and $43k Allowance company.

 



  8. Mr. Diz Stakes – April 7th– Race 10 @ Pimlico
     
  
     

Reigning MD Horse of the Year Ben’s Cat rallies to take 3rd consecutive Mr. Diz Stakes.

 

 


  7. Near Triple Dead Heat – March 16th – Race 7 @ Laurel Park
     
 
     

After racing 7 furlongs, no measurement could separate Milwaukee Chief and Artic Raven, while Let Me Be Frank settled for SHOW money a mere whisker behind those two. 

 

 

  6
. Ladys Legend for the Cure – May 18th– Race 4 @ Pimlico
     
   
    

Class Rules may have won easily but it was 59-year-old Jennifer Small in who was in the irons, and the other retired female jockeys who made the 3rd annual People’s Pink Party a memorable $40k Allowance NW1X race.

 

 
5. Rapid Redux notches #22 – January 4th – Race 6 @ Laurel Park
     
   
    

This $5,000 Starter Allowance would be the 6-year-old geldings final race. Retired with a record 22 race win streak intact, he won a total of 28 races from 42 career starts.

 



 
4. Frank J. DeFrancis Dash – October 27th – Race 9 @ Laurel Park
     
  
     

Action Andy rallies in deep stretch to catch Il Vilano at the wire. What really hurts is that I had Il Vilano. How many times is the cameraman wrong when showing the winner on the gallop out in a tight photo?!  



 
3. Pimlico Special – May 18th– Race 12 @ Pimlico
     
   
    

Alternation puts in a game performance as he gets the better end of the head bob versus Nehro. Watch the slow motion replay at the wire. Nehro actually catches and gets ahead of Alternation 5 feet before the wire. Once again, guess who had Nehro at 6-1?!
The next day I had Steve Asmussen (Nehro’s trainer) crying on my shoulder saying, “How in the hell did he not win that race?!” 



   2
. Double Dead Heat – October 8th – Race 7 @ Laurel Park 
 
       
     

Truly a horse racing rarity, as Rockaby Bay and Masterel hit the wire simultaneously for the WIN while just a neck behind Elkhorn Creek and Colonel Bill could not be separated for the SHOW purse, in this $25k Optional Claiming event.



  
1. 137th Preakness Stakes – May 19th– Race 12 @ Pimlico
      
   
     

I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister, Round 2. If this stretch run doesn’t give you goose bumps, then you must not be breathing.

 

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Older Comments about 2012 was a Very Good Year for Maryland Racing...

Still love the Maryland Hunt Cup. A great day; a great race...in Md.
I think the Preakness was race of the year!
Rapid Redux goes right behind the Preakness.
  • marylandgq · In my 1st draft, that's exactly where I had Rapid Redux (at #2), but then the more I watched that race (v. the significance of the outcome), the race itself was not that exciting... but must agree, as far as the accomplishment, it's #2, arguably could be #1. · 619 days ago
The most anticipated race of the year has to be the Kentucky Derby but the race that got me out of my seat was the Belmont Stakes. The patience that Johnny V show with Union Rags was just amazing. Just wish Johnny V was on UR back in the KD and it would have been a different race.
  • marylandgq · Excellent choice. UR made a fool out of me (and many others) that day in thinking he couldn't get 1 1/2 miles. · 620 days ago
Love the list, Gary ... I think the Preakness was not only the best race in Maryland, but the best of any state!
the Preakness.! but the Breeder's Cup Juvenile was really exciting also.
I would agree with every race other than the best pal. Especially at #2. I can think of about 5 more exciting juvenile races not to mention other age group races. The preakness was by far the best of the year howver, and deserves the number one slot.
Md has had some thrilling races this year and this is a good list of them
haha Michael Horvath I know all your races with your horses have been your most exciting of the year
Since the year is not over, hold your final decision until Race #7 at Laurel on Friday!

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