Anna’s Bandit doubles up with Md. Million Distaff score
Anna’s Bandit was best in the Maryland Million Distaff. Photo by Laurie Asseo for The Racing Biz.
Bad news for Mid-Atlantic fillies and mares: Jerry and Gina Robb, the husband-and-wife team behind Anna’s Bandit, are planning to bring their redoubtable mare back to run in 2020.
The five-year-old daughter of Great Notion won her fifth consecutive race in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Million Distaff to complete the rare, if not unheard of, West Virginia Breeders’ Classics-Maryland Million double. Anna’s Bandit had won the WVBC Cavada last weekend at Charles Town Races.
“There’s no reason she won’t race (next year),” said Jerry Robb. “I’m hoping to pull another double next year.”
With her 3 1/2-length win today, Anna’s Bandit won the two local fixtures by a combined nine lengths. And one year after finishing third in both events, she provided plenty for the Robbs to smile about — even if, as it turned out, they didn’t see much.
“I was upstairs in the dining room and the TV froze at the eighth pole, so I didn’t know I won it until I got down here – true story,” Jerry Robb said. “She was head-and-head for the lead and then it froze.”
“We literally looked at each other and started screaming,” Gina Robb said.
What the Robbs missed was Anna’s Bandit, under regular pilot Xavier Perez, shooting through a gap inside of Conjecture in mid-stretch and powering to the win to Perez’s jubilant cheers. Running time for the seven furlongs over a fast main track was 1:23.03. As the 1-2 favorite, Anna’s Bandit returned $3.00 to win and topped a one-dollar exacta, with 17-1 Conjecture in second, worth $10.90.
Anna’s Bandit left from the inside post position and, after attaining an up-close stalking position, was shuffled back a bit entering the turn. But Perez was able to steer her off the rail for room rounding the turn and the profited when the rail opened up nearing the lane.
“Never like the 1-hole,” said Jerry Robb. “Had to use her to get position and they shut her off a little bit. But she did what it takes. That’s her.”
The win was Anna’s Bandit’s 15th from 31 career starts and pushed her earnings past the $650,000 mark. She’s a homebred for Robb and races in the red and green of their No Guts No Glory Farm.
Jerry Robb also trained Onearmedbandit, Anna’s Bandit’s dam, who’s by No Armistice. So Anna’s Bandit has been a family affair from day one, seems to be improving even late in her five-year-old season, and figures to be a formidable foe going forward.
As long as she is, she’ll keep running — and bringing tears to her connections’ eyes.
“I am so happy for my husband and happy for what we’ve started together,” Gina Robb said, her voice trailing off. “I’m speechless again. I was OK before the race, but now, honestly…”
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Maryland Horse Industry Day will take place in Annapolis Wednesday, Jan. 22, marking the sixth year that equine interests have gathered to spread the word.
Two longtime owners enjoyed their first stakes wins Saturday at Laurel Park, as Artful Splatter and Honor the Fleet upset the Geisha and Fire Plug Stakes.
Alwaysmining, the top Maryland three-year-old of 2019, rediscovered his winning ways with a solid triumph in the Jennings Stakes at Laurel Park.
Still Having Fun, a Grade 2 winner, will make the second start of his comeback in Saturday’s Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel Park.
Eight-year-old John Jones will aim for his third Jennings Stakes title Saturday at Laurel Park against a field including 2019 Preakness runner Alwaysmining.
Anna’s Bandit, winner of six straight, will look to run her streak to seven as the odds-on choice in Saturday’s Geisha Stakes at Laurel Park.