Field Pass may defend BWI Turf Cup title

Maryland-bred millionaire Field Pass may return to Pimlico Saturday to defend his title in a salty renewal of the $200,000, Grade 3 Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup.

The 14th running of the one-mile BWI Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up headlines a 10-race program that features four stakes worth $475,000 in purses including the $100,000 All Along for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/8 miles, also scheduled for the grass.

Three Diamonds Farm’s Field Pass was forwardly placed in last year’s BWI Turf Cup and got patient handling from jockey Victor Carrasco to find room along the inside late and get up to win by a neck over Ramsey Solution with Talk Or Listen third, both horses coming back to win stakes in their next starts.

Field Pass has one win from five starts this season. Though that win, in the Texas Turf Classic at Lone Star Park July 16 came via disqualification, it held additional meaning for the Mike Maker trainee’s connections: it put Field Pass over $1 million in career earnings.

“We’ve had three million-dollar earners in our history over the last 16 years, so he’s meant a lot to us,” Three Diamonds’ Kirk Wycoff said. “He’s always there from a mile to a mile and an eighth, and the ground doesn’t matter. He’s kind of a lighter-framed horse. There’s not many Lemon Drop Kids left and there’s none that have won a million dollars that I know of still racing. So, we’re very proud of him.”

A son of Lemon Drop Kid out of the Runaway Groom mare Only Me, Field Pass was bred in Maryland by Mark Brown Grier. He was a $37,000 purchase at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale in Timonium, MD.

Field Pass has made three racing visits to his home state, most recently finishing third in the Henry S. Clark Stakes at Laurel Park April 23. He also was fourth in the 2019 Laurel Futurity. Overall, he’s won nine of 28 career outings while notching over $1.1 million in earnings.

He’s won twice in eight starts since his win in this event last year. Following his Texas Turf Classic win, he finished a disappointing eighth, last, in the Grade 1 Arlington Million at Churchill Downs.

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

“The last race over at Churchill, it was really more of a dirt track than a turf track and he didn’t handle it very well, so it was disappointing,” Wycoff said. “He always tries. In Texas, we kind of tracked a loose-on-the-lead horse. We got a break when they put us up.”

Dylan Davis, up for a runner-up finish in the 2021 Knickerbocker (G3) at Belmont Park, is named to ride Field Pass from Post 4 in the seven-horse field. Field Pass is cross-entered in two other races – a $1 million stake Saturday at Kentucky Downs and a $180,000 handicap Sept. 14 at that same track.

Though only a modestly sized field, the Turf Cup has drawn several runners with solid credentials, in addition to Field Pass. The field is also scheduled to include:

  • Public Sector, a multiple graded stakes winner from the powerful barn of Chad Brown. Winless in four tries this year, he’ll have Junior Alvarado in the irons;
  • Pao Alto, making his North American bow for trainer Graham Motion. The French-bred Pao Alto is a Group stakes winner in both France and Qatar and will have Jevian Toledo up;
  • Last year’s Grade 3 Arlington Stakes winner Bizzee Channel. He’ll make his first start for trainer Lacey Gaudet, who claimed him for $50,000 out of his most recent start, at Colonial Downs, and will have Johan Rosado in the irons; and
  • Set Piece, winner of the May 21 Grade 2 Dinner Party at Pimlico. That was the second Grade 2 triumph of the Brad Cox trainee’s 22-race career. Sheldon Russell is named.

The BWI Turf Cup is scheduled as the ninth race on a 10-race program. First post is 12:40 p.m.

Quotes provided by the Maryland Jockey Club.