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Interstatedaydream Returns a Winner in $100,000 Twixt
Yamato Gets Job Done in $100,000 Japan Turf Cup
BALTIMORE – If it was indeed her last race, Flurry Racing Stables’ multiple graded-stakes winner Interstatedaydream went out in style and kept her perfect Maryland record intact with a 2 ½-length triumph in Saturday’s $100,000 Twixt.
The 41st running of the 1 1/16-mile Twixt for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/16 miles on the main track and 60th renewal of the $100,000 Japan Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ½ miles were among four stakes worth $500,000 in purses on opening weekend of Laurel’s calendar year-ending fall meet co-headlined by the $150,000 Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds and $150,000 Selima for 2-year-old fillies.
A winner of the 2022 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and May 19 Allaire du Pont at historic Pimlico Race Course in her two previous trips to Maryland, Interstatedaydream ($2.60) ran down multiple stakes-winning pacesetter Malibu Beauty and pulled clear in 1:44.02 over a fast main track. It was the second Twixt victory for trainer Brad Cox following Dreamalildreamofu in 2021.
Owner and Arkansas native Staton Flurry watched in person as Interstatedaydream, a 4-year-old daughter of champion Classic Empire, rolled to her sixth career win from 13 starts and pushed her bankroll over $700,000. Co-owner of 2020 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Shedaresthedevil, Flurry entered Interstatedaydream in Keeneland’s Breeding Stock sale Nov. 8-16.
“If this is her last race, I’m glad she went out on top,” owner Staton Flurry said. “[We’re] definitely considering selling her in November. When they go from 4 to 5, that’s kind of their peak. For her right now, do you take a chance next year and run her? Her form is declining just a tad. There’s a lot of options on the table right now, but more than likely we’ll see her in the sale in November.”
Sent off as the 1-5 favorite from outermost Post 8, Interstatedaydream was wide around the first turn and settled into position under jockey Sheldon Russell racing next-to-last ahead of another multiple stakes winner in Hybrid Eclipse as Malibu Beauty opened up through uncontested splits of :23.80, :47.79 and 1:12.19. Interstatedaydream began to move up leaving the backstretch but still had plenty to do, and approached the stretch several lengths behind a smooth-running Malibu Beauty.
“We knew drawing the far outside going into that first turn [was tough],” Flurry said. “I talked to Sheldon about it and he said how it comes up quick. He just had to improvise and see how she breaks and go from there. He put her in a great spot down the backside. Coming for home, I was a little worried. I’m not going to lie. She just didn’t look like she was taking the ground too good and then she saw that other horse and kicked it into another gear and ran her down.”
Interstatedaydream kept grinding away at the leader before reeling her in the final sixteenth of a mile and drawing away. Miss New York, racing for the first time since July 29, got up for second, 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Malibu Beauty. It was 2 ½ lengths back to late-running Hybrid Eclipse.
Six the Hard Way, Batacuda, Freccia d’Argento and Grade 3 winner and defending champion Battle Bling completed the order of finish. Champagne Toast was scratched.
“She’s always had some heart and she’s always shown she has ability, she’s just needed some luck to go on her side,” Flurry said. “Her last couple races she went off even money like this, and just had some bad luck. It’s racing, but I was glad to see her kick for home today and run down that other horse. [At one point] I was like, ‘Does she really even want to be out here anymore,’ because she just didn’t look like she was giving it any [effort] at all. But she showed her class and Sheldon rode a great race.”
Twixt was a Maryland-bred champion every year she raced, from 1972-75, retiring as Maryland’s all-time money-winning mare. Her 18 stakes wins were also a Maryland-bred record on the flat. Bred and owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Merryman and trained by their daughter, Katy Voss, Twixt won the Barbara Fritchie (G3) and was named Maryland’s Horse of the Year in 1973 and 1974.
Yamato Gets Job Done in $100,000 Japan Turf Cup
Paradise Farm and David Staudacher’s Yamato made a bold move to get into contention on the backside then swung widest of all approaching the stretch and powered through the lane to a 2 ½-length triumph in the $100,000 Japan Turf Cup.
Ridden by Horacio Karamanos for trainer Mike Maker and favored at 8-5 in a field of 10, Yamato ($5.40) covered 1 ½ miles in 2:31.60 over an All Along turf course rated good. It was the third straight Japan Turf Cup win for Karamanos and second with Maker following Tide of the Sea in 2021. Karamanos on last year’s off-the-grass edition aboard Armando R.
Multiple graded-stakes placed It Can Be Done was quickest from the gate out of Post 11 and ran a quarter-mile in 24.38 seconds with Grade 3 winner Eons, the only horse to his outside, pressing in second with 50-1 long shot Will E Sutton in third and Bear Oak, riding a two-race win streak, in fourth.
The half went in 50.62 with Yamato saving ground inside in fifth until following a move by Bear Oak to his outside following six furlongs in 1:16.28 where they closed to be third and fourth as It Can Be Done and Eons continued to lead the way. Karamanos got Yamato to the outside once straightened for home and the 6-year-old gelding did the rest, earning his 10th career win and first since being claimed for $50,000 in the spring at Gulfstream Park.
“He broke great and got into a great stalking spot. I was really happy,” Maker’s assistant trainer Nolan Ramsey said. “I don’t know how soft the ground is today but the fractions seemed pretty solid. They were pretty strung out, but I was pretty happy with where we were sitting.
“Down the backside he started moving with the horse on the outside. I thought, ‘It might be a little early,’ but Horacio got him to relax pretty good and then when he asked him for a second call he came running. Props to him and the horse,” he added. “I was very happy with it, and to see him get to the outside of horses in the stretch, it was just a matter of who the best horse was down the lane and he showed up today.”
Eons was a clear second, 2 ¾ lengths in front of Bear Oak, with another 5 ¼ lengths to Will E Sutton in fourth. Serifos, Regal Kingdom, It Can Be Done, Oceans Map, The Happy Giant and Tiz a Giant completed the order of finish.
Yamato found trouble in the May 20 Louisville (G3) and July 22 United Nations (G1), respectively running fourth and eighth. He came with a late run to be second in an optional claiming allowance Sept. 14 at Churchill Downs.
“He ran a great race in the Louisville. We were slightly disappointed in the trip we got. I felt he was probably a little bit better than what he showed,” Ramsey said. “This was probably a little bit of a step down [in class] for him but as far as the distance was concerned this was the logical spot for him today.”