'Barn favorite' Bigger Picture wins third John B. Connally Turf Cup

Press Release
January 26, 2019 09:44pm
Bigger Picture_horse_John B Connally Turf Cup 2019_615x400
Photo: Coady Photography

The Grade 3, $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup, at the distance of one and one-half miles, attracted a field of nine, including two-time champion Bigger Picture.

 

Owned by Three Diamonds Farm, the 8-year-old son of Badge of Silver, bred in Kentucky by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, made his 38th career start Sunday under Jose Ortiz, his winning pilot in the 2017 and 2018 Connally victories. 

 

Settled from off the pace, Bigger Picture was unpressured early, but began picking off horses as he rounded the far turn. Ortiz had him in full control at the top of the stretch, rallying strongly, crossing the wire in 2.30.60 over the firm turf course.

 

“I did not want him pressured early,” said Ortiz. “He was comfortable laying off the pace and once I got him into a rhythm, he was moving well, every step of the way. Great job by Mike. I am always happy to ride this horse.”

 

The chestnut gelding made his last start at Del Mar, running second in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2). His trainer, Michael Maker was pleased with the Jan. 12 work by Bigger Picture at Palm Meadows in Florida, where he covered five furlongs in 1.02.80, signaling he was ready to return to action.

 

“He’s a barn favorite,” said Maker of Bigger Picture. “He hadn’t won a race (in 2018) since this race last year, but he showed up and danced a lot of dances with the best in his division. We had this same plan last year; sent him to the farm for a couple of weeks and brought him back in. pointed for this race.”

 



Zapperini, with Florent Geroux in the saddle, closed for second, by a margin of 3 ½ lengths behind the winner. Owned by Lloyd Madison Farms IV LLC, the 6-year-old son of Ghostzapper was sent off at odds of 15-1 and earned $40,000 today. Some In Tieme (BRZ), runner-up in last year’s edition of the Connally, ran third for trainer Efren Loza, Jr. Maker and Three Diamonds Farm ran fourth with Markitoff, a 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, who was ridden by Mike Smith. Budro Talking, Net Gain, Cooptado and Lawless West completed the order of finish. Team Colors did not finish and was vanned off.

 

Bigger Picture ($3.40) now has 12 lifetime wins, including six five graded stakes. He eclipsed the $1 million earnings mark winning last year’s Connally Turf Cup, and has amassed $1,4,94,135 since making his debut in 2013. 

 

Maker has won six of the last seven editions of the Connally with Papa Bodie in 2012; Admiral Kitten in 2014; Coalport in 2015; Da Big Hoss as well as the last three years with Bigger Picture.

 

Bigger Picture is the second turf specialist in Connally history to win three times. That feat was accomplished by Glen Warren’s Candid Glen, who was victorious in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

 

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