From our partners at Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred…
Maryland Million, West Virginia Breeders Classics, Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s yearling sale, the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, plus the region’s stallion directory and plenty more make for a thick magazine. December’s Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred lands in mailboxes this week and will give you plenty to read.
To whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from Joe Clancy’s Maryland Million article:
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Full Speed Ahead: Admirals War Chest wires Classic for Sinatra on 30th Maryland Million Day
Taylor Hole crossed his hands, rested his forearms on the outside rail of Laurel Park’s dirt track, looked down at his boots and then up at the infield screen where the stretch run of the Maryland Million Classic replayed.
Then the jockey laughed.
He’d been told by trainer Corby Caiazzo to put Admirals War Chest on the lead, to make his natural speed last as long as it could in the 1 1⁄8-mile Classic, no matter what. The race looked a bit light on pace, but boasted multiple stakes winner Talk Show Man, Todd Pletcher trainee Bullheaded Boy shipping in from Belmont Park, and comebacking 2012 Classic winner Not Abroad in a field of nine.
Making his stakes debut, Admirals War Chest owned two wins in 11 lifetime starts – both on off tracks – coming into the $150,000 Classic Oct. 17.
“Corby said send him on his way, and play catch me if you can,” said Hole. “Corby told me he wanted me 10 in front at the half-mile pole. I could see the shadows and I was thinking ‘We ain’t 10 in front.’ I just kept riding. Give the horse all the credit, he kept running.”
Hole was joking about the 10 lengths comment, probably, but repeated it in the post-race interview before the 19,119 spectators hosted by the rejuvenated racetrack.
Admirals War Chest did indeed go immediately to the front through fractions of :24.21, :47.45 and 1:11.91. He was 3 lengths clear after that last split, and 5 clear with a furlong to go.
Then things got interesting.