Field Pass
Field Pass and Victor Carrasco won the G3 BWI Turf Cup. Photo Jerry Dzierwinski.

There wasn’t much room up the rail in Saturday’s Grade 3 Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup. But there was just enough.

Just enough for favored Field Pass to slip through inside and go on to score a gritty neck victory over Ramsey Solution  in 1:35.12 for a flat mile over firm turf.

“My horse is not huge, but he’s well built,” said winning rider Victor Carrasco afterwards. “It wasn’t much, but when you’ve got enough horse, when the head goes in, he follows the part. He wasn’t afraid of going through the hole, and we got it done.”

The six-horse field of the $200,000 Turf Cup ended up being just a four-horse group after the scratches of Pixelate, who is pointed instead to Monday’s Buckland Stakes at Colonial Downs, and English Bee, who is sick.

That left the Maryland-bred Field Pass, a four-year-old Lemon Drop Kid colt, the 3-5 favorite with Ramsey Solution off as the second choice, at 9-5.

When the gates opened, jockey Mychel Sanchez steered Ramsey Solution to an uncontested advantage. He doled out moderate fractions of 24.59 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48.33 seconds for the half.

Field Pass, meanwhile, was not far behind in third through the opening markers while down along the rail. But Carrasco saw something up ahead that gave him the confidence to bide his time.

“I saw, like, the first turn and on the backside that Mychel [Sancez, aboard Ramsey Solution] is trying to keep his horse inside, and he’s fighting with him to keep him on the rail,” Carrasco said.

With Daniel Centeno and Talk Or Listen perched to his outside, there was nothing to do but wait, though Field Pass was getting antsy.

“I’m just waiting on hold with him because all he wants to do is go on,” Carrasco said. “I’m just, no, there’s not enough room and it’s too early yet.”

Finally, when the field spun off the turn towards home, Carrasco said he decided that “it’s now or never.”

He gave Field Pass his cue, and the horse… “He gave me some,” Carrasco said.

But the rider needed more. So he went to the left-handed stick.

“When I hit him with the left hand, he gave me another gear and I went on,” Carrasco said.

Photo Jerry Dzierwinski.

On through the hole and to hard-fought victory. He finished a neck ahead of Ramsey Solution, who in turn was 1 ½ lengths clear of Talk Or Listen in third. Longshot Posterity was fourth, another three lengths back.

Field Pass paid $3.40 to win and topped an exacta that returned $2.90 for a one-dollar wager.

The win was the seventh in 20 career starts for Field Pass, who is owned by Three Diamonds Farm. It was his fourth graded stakes victory and pushed his career earnings to $728,143.

Field Pass was bred in Maryland by Mark Brown Grier. He is out of the Runaway Groom mare Only Me and was purchased by Three Diamonds for $37,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale in 2018.

In two earlier stakes on the card, upsets were the order of the day. The Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon Can the Queen was an 8-1 winner of the Sensible Lady Turf Dash, also under Carrasco. In the Big Dreyfus Stakes, Tightly Twisted, off at 9-1 with Jhonatan Mendoza up, held on to upset 4-5 Counterparty Risk. It was the first stakes win for the Juanita Bennett trainee.