Joe won the Maryland Juvenile Championship. Photo Jerry Dzierwinski.

Alottahope took the inside route, while Joe went overland. 

That proved to be the key in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship for state-bred or -sired two-year-olds.

Joe, who left from stall number 12, looped and swooped ‘em in the center of the course, while Alottahope had to await room before slipping through inside too late. Joe bested Alottahope by 1 ½ lengths to win the first stake of his three-race career.

“I think [the 12-hole helped me],” winning rider Victor Carrasco said. “You know, when you’re on a good horse and can place yourself in a good spot, it’s easier. But when you’re on a horse that has a so-so shot and you’re all the way outside, if you’re not quick enough…”

Though Joe was 10th of the 12 after an opening quarter-mile in 23.02 seconds, he was less than five lengths off the lead. That put him in a good spot when early leader, and post time favorite, Local Motive began to falter.

Carrasco’s mount turned for home six wide, came under a drive, and grabbed the lead in mid-stretch, going on to win over Alottahope.

“Thank God, he’s a nice horse, and he helped me out to put myself in a good stalking position,” Carrasco said.

Victor Carrasco aboard Joe. Photo Jerry Dzierwinski.

Joe, the third wagering choice, paid $9.00 to win. He topped an exacta, with the second choice underneath, that returned $33.40 for one dollar. Coastal Mission finished third, while favored Local Motive faded to fifth.

The win was Joe’s second from three starts. He’s earned $93,580. Having a one-mile victory under his belt seemed to help, too.

“To be honest, I really liked the horse,” Carrasco said. “I was doing my homework last night, and to be honest, I didn’t think anyone could beat me. The only one that I was concerned about, believe it or not, was [Alottahope].”

Joe is a son of Declaration of War who was bred in Maryland by owner The Elkstone Group LLC [Stuart Grant]. He’s trained by Mike Trombetta.

The win was Carrasco’s second in stakes company in the last three weeks. He also won aboard Cordmaker in the Richard W. Small Stakes here November 27.

“My agent, Scotty Silver, he’s the one who’s tried his best to book me some nice horses, and it’s been paying off,” Carrasco said.