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Breeders' Cup 2017

Laurel Park Stakes Recap - Nov. 16

Sylvia Heft’s Eighttofasttocatch bounded to the lead a few strides out of the gate and was in complete control the rest of the way as he drove to victory in the $100,000 Jennings Handicap for registered Maryland-breds.


This was the third year in a row that the Tim Keefe trainee had won the Jennings, matching Little Bold John (1987-88-89) for that honor. Forest Boyce was in the irons as the son of Not For Love completed the one mile distance in 1:36.76 and won by six lengths. Wild Louis took second and Concealed Identity finished third.


“He broke a little slow today but he was much the best,” said Boyce. “Tim always has him ready for me. I get to just hang on and enjoy the ride.”


“I don’t want to sound overconfident but it was a nice race,” said Keefe.”He’s very good right now. I’m most proud that he’s maintaining at this level. He has no problem with a mile and a mile and an eighth. I’m flattered that he’s mentioned in the same sentence with Little Bold John.”


“He’s done a heck of a job,” said Arnold Heft, who is married to the owner. “This guy has won close to a million. He’s making me feel young. This horse is not for sale.”


This was the ninth career stakes win for the 7-year old. He won the Maryland Million Classic in his previous start and in April captured the Henry S Clark Stakes at Pimlico. Today he paid $3.60.


Bacopa Breeze Whiffs Them In Smart Halo Stakes


While the betting favorites broke a little tardily, Michael A. Foster’s Bacopa Breeze was quick from the gate. That start was enough of an advantage that she could hold on and win the $100,000 Smart Halo Stakes for 2-year old fillies.


Erick Rodriguez rode the daughter of Visionaire, who covered the six furlong distance in 1:12.34. Post-time favorite Co Cola suffered a wide trip throughout and could not reach the winner in time, while second betting favorite Who’s In Town bobbled at the start, closed through traffic but could only get as close as third.


Bacopa Breeze won by three-quarters of a length and paid $15.60.


“This is the first time I have been on this horse,” said Rodriguez. “The trainer told me to take it from the break and see what happens. My horse broke sharp and I didn’t want to take back so I stayed close to the front and let him be. My horse got the lead easy turning for home and I kept him busy to the finish.”


“We bought her October 22, last year, and she was broken in three weeks,” said the owner. “She has great tactical speed and she just plays with the other horses. There’s a little stakes race at Tampa December 7th. She’s been a very sound horse and I want to run her a year and then work a deal for her as a brood mare.”


Bacopa Breeze is based at Beulah Park in Ohio and had raced at Presque Isle and Mountaineer Park prior to this start. This was her first stakes win.



Service For Ten Rallies To Win Dave’s Friend Stakes


Mark B. Lapidus LLC’s Service For Ten backed off the speed, was sent into overdrive entering the turn and was up in time to capture the $100,000 Dave’s Friend Stakes.


Sheldon Russell rode the son of Service Stripe for trainer Damon Dilodovico. They completed the six furlong distance in 1:10.32 and won by a length and a half. Fersmiley crossed the finish line second but was disqualified to sixth for interference at the start. Third place finisher Escrow Kid was elevated to second and Rainbow Heir was awarded third.


Assistant trainer Mike Geralis said, “There was a lot of speed in this race and the game plan was to come from off the pace. We sat back and just picked them off in the lane. This horse isn’t flashy in the morning  but he’s very competitive around other horses. That’s when he shows his ability.”


“The race went as planned,” said Russell. “There was lots of speed in the race. As long as they didn’t get away, then I knew I had a chance with his huge late kick. The little moisture on the track keeps it honest and I was very happy at the 3/8ths pole. I tipped him out and he came running with his big kick to win.”


“I watched his first race and I was just impressed looking at him,” said the owner. “He caught my eye and I liked him so much I claimed him in his next race when he ran for $25,000. It was just the way he looked that made me want to have him.”


Service For Ten had a troubled trip in his previous start, the Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash, where he was blocked on the rail and had to settle for third.  Prior to that he had won the Moscarelli Memorial at Delaware Park.


Service For Ten paid $6.80.


Jessethemarine Surprises In James F. Lewis III Stakes


Manfred Roos & John Rigattieri’s Jessethemarine rallied from the back of the pack to win James F. Lewis III Stakes at odds of better than 35-1.


Under Daniel Centeno, Jessethemarine picked his way through traffic but was still far back at the top of the lane. He switched into another gear with a furlong to go and hit even greater acceleration as he moved by the 1/16th pole. He caught the two horses who were still in front of him in the shadow of the finish line.


The son of With Distinction won by a neck in 1:10.66 for the six furlong distance. Frontrunner Pure Sensation finished second and It’s A Bang was another neck back in third.


“The six furlongs, we weren’t too confident,” said Rigattieri, who also trains the colt. “I thought I had a decent horse but there were six speed horses in here. He wasn’t going to make the front. My jockey, Danny, is a tough rider. People in Maryland might not know that . I didn’t see my horse until the straight.  At the 1/16th I said he’ll be third. I still didn’t think he won until the announcer said he’d won. He’s run two good races now. We’ll find out what kind of horse he is next month in a  7/8ths race. Seven furlongs is more tactical.”


“I’ve been working him at Bowie a few times and he’s been doing good,” said Centeno.  “There was lots of speed in the race so I just wanted to see how they came out of the gate. At the 3/8ths pole he started dragging me and we got clear. At the 1/8th pole he gave me that extra kick to the finish. I was hoping he would make that one run today and he did.”


Jessethemarine was elevated to first from second in his previous start, the Whirling Ash Stakes at Delaware Park, after being bumped in the drive to the finish. Today he paid $73.80.


Dance to Bristol Is Honored In Winners’ Circle Retirement Ceremony

Between today’s fourth and fifth races, the Maryland Jockey Club presented a special retirement ceremony for Bowie-based Dance to Bristol, who completed her career with a sixth place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) earlier this month.

The filly was on hand in the winners’ circle, as were her owner, trainer and rider. It was an emotional scene and they were warmly received by numerous admirers.

Owned by Taneytown resident Susan Wantz and trained by Ollie Figgins III, Dance to Bristol enjoyed a stellar 4-year-old campaign with victories in seven of her 10 starts this year, including three graded stakes.

The daughter of Speightstown and jockey Xavier Perez reeled off seven straight victories from February through August, including a win in the Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness weekend and three graded races in New York: Bed Of Roses (G3), Honorable Miss (G2) and Ballerina (G1).

“This is a very special and emotional day for all of us,” said Figgins. “She was up for every challenge we gave her. She was a great horse to train and it was a pleasure to have her in my barn.”

“It’s hard for me, knowing this is the last day we will see her,” said Perez. “She was amazing. She took me to places I had never been. I had my first graded race experience and Breeders’ Cup with her. I’m going to miss her.”

Dance To Bristol finished her career with 10 wins and eight second place finishes in 20 career starts for earnings of $980,880. She raced nine times in Maryland with five victories and four runner-up finishes. She broke her maiden on Oct. 29, 2011 at Laurel Park and also captured the 2012 Marshua Stakes at the central Maryland track.


Next week, Dance to Bristol leaves for Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, Kentucky to start her new career as a broodmare.


“She’s a wonderful horse and she’s going to be bred to War Front,” said Wantz. We did what was best for her. It was a really hard decision. Everyone wanted her. We knew we weren’t going to sell her. We wanted to have a say. She couldn’t leave the country. She couldn’t be resold. We’re looking forward to seeing her beautiful babies.”




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