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Field Pass Gutsy Winner of $200,000 BWI Turf Cup
Finds Narrow Opening Late for Fourth Career Graded Victory
BALTIMORE – Three Diamonds Farm’s multiple graded-stakes winner Field Pass squeezed through a narrow opening along the rail in deep stretch and muscled his way to a popular neck triumph over stubborn pacesetter Ramsey Solution in Saturday’s $200,000 Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) at historic Pimlico Race Course.
The 15th running of the one-mile BWI Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up anchored four grass stakes worth $500,000 in purses, following wins by Indian Lake in the $100,000 Bald Eagle Derby for 3-year-olds and Can the Queen in the $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash and Tightly Twisted in the $100,000 Big Dreyfus, both for fillies and mares 3 and up.
Ridden for the first time by Victor Carrasco for trainer Mike Maker, Field Pass ($3.40) earned his seventh career win and fourth in graded company after the Transylvania (G3) on turf and Ontario Derby (G3) and Jeff Ruby (G3) on synthetics last year.
“We’re obviously happy with the win. We had a few anxious moments there, but we’re happy he got through and got there,” Maker said by phone from Saratoga. “There weren’t a whole lot of instructions. We basically said, ‘He’s the class of the field, get to the wire first,’ and they did.”
The winning time was 1:35.12 over a firm turf course. Talk Or Listen, second by a length in the Dinner Party (G2) May 15 at Pimlico, trailed runner-up Ramsey Solution by 1 ½ lengths with Posterity another 3 ¾ lengths back. Graded-stakes winners Pixelate and English Bee were scratched.
Jockey Mychel Sanchez and Ramsey Solution broke on the outside and were intent on the lead, with Field Pass on the rail and Talk Or Listen with Daniel Centeno on their right hip. The early fractions were sensible, going 24.59 seconds for a quarter-mile and 48.33 seconds for the half.
“I saw on the first turn to the backside, Mychel was trying to keep his horse inside and he’s fighting with him to keep him on the rail. I had Centeno on my outside with [Talk Or Listen] and I’m just waiting and holding because all my horse wants to do is go. I’m like, ‘No, there’s not enough room. It’s too early yet,’” Carrasco said.
“They didn’t give me many instructions. They said, ‘Don’t fight with him. If [Ramsey Solution] wants to go, let him go. Come around and stalk him, don’t let him go free,’” he added. “But, I had somebody on my outside and he wasn’t relaxing for me. I was fighting with him behind horses. I had no other choice but to wait, wait, wait, and patience won the race.”
Ramsey Solution, winner of the Tapit last fall at Kentucky Downs, remained in front after going six furlongs in 1:11.55 and straightened for home with Talk Or Listen bearing down on his outside and Field Pass trying to get through on the rail. Ramsey Solution dug in gamely through the lane but Field Pass had just enough room and time to get up two jumps from the wire.
“When we turned for home, Mychel stayed outside and I said, ‘It’s now or never.’ When I said ‘go,’ he gave me some but when I hit him with the left hand he gave me another gear,” Carrasco said. “My horse is not huge but he’s well-built. There wasn’t much [room]. I moved on him and he wasn’t afraid of going to the hole, and he got it done.”