10/18/2014 6:12PM

Eighttofasttocatch never looks back in winning Maryland Million Classic

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LAUREL, Md. – Eighttofasttocatch was sent to an open lead by Forest Boyce in the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic and never looked back, outclassing his rivals by 4 1/2 lengths in the 1 1/8-mile race.

The Classic was the feature on a card of seven stakes for Maryland-sired horses. The announced crowd was 18,870.

The win was the third in the Classic for Eighttofasttocatch and moved his lifetime earnings to $997,970. Trainer Tim Keefe plans to run Eighttofasttocatch in the $100,000 Jennings at Laurel on Dec. 6, then retire the 8-year-old. Eighttofasttocatch is now 14 for 27 over the Laurel Park main track and 2 for 21 at other tracks or over the Laurel turf.

“We’d like to win a fourth Jennings and wind up his career," Keefe said. "He’s going to my farm where my wife and daughter are planning to give him a second career as an event horse. My daughter, Ryan, is 14 and will be stepping up to eventing, and she thinks he could be a good horse for her.”

Eighttofasttocatch was timed in 1:50.54 and paid $3.20. Concealed Identity, last early, came five wide into the stretch to finish second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Turbin.

The Maryland Million races always have been restricted to Maryland-sired horses, but this year, the rule was loosened to allow Maryland-bred horses to enter any race that attracted fewer than six offspring of Maryland stallions. The Classic was the only race that came into play, with three of the eight runners Maryland-bred only.

Eighttofasttocatch gave his sire, Not for Love, his fourth win on the Maryland Million Day card. His offspring previously had taken the Sprint, Distaff, and Nursery. Not for Love, now 24, is Maryland's perennial leading sire and the all-time leading sire of Maryland Million winners. He stands at the Northview Stallion Station in Chesepeake City, Md. Talk Show Man, winner of the Maryland Million Turf, is a son of Great Notion, who also stands at Northview.

Turf: Talk Show Man nails Ben's Cat

Talk Show Man got the money in the $126,250 Maryland Million Turf, running down a hard-trying Ben's Cat by a half-length in deep stretch.

Jockey Xavier Perez moved Talk Show Man to a contending position behind Ben's Cat and Roadhog on the far turn of the one-mile Turf. Although Talk Show Man could not immediately reel in those runners, he stayed on in the final furlong and wore down Ben's Cat late.

Capital Fellow set the early pace in the Turf while being tracked by Ben's Cat as Roadhog bided his time in third. Ben's Cat and Roadhog dismissed Capital Fellow nearing the far turn and battled to mid-stretch when Ben's Cat began to inch away. Ben's Cat held off Talk Show Man as long as he could but relinquished the lead nearing the wire. Roadhog, who had won the last two runnings of the Turf, finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Ben's Cat.

Loves Last Chance was forced to stead along the inside nearing the far turn and was shuffled back. He showed courage to recover and rally for fourth.

Talk Show Man, trained by Hamilton Smith, paid $11 and covered the mile over a good course in 1:39.20.

“At the three-eighths pole, when he made his move, it looked like it would be three horses to the wire,” Smith said. “I was a little concerned when he lost as much ground as he did. He recovered and wore them down the last part. He ran a tremendous race, and I’m really proud of him."

King Leatherbury, the owner-breeder-trainer of Ben's Cat, was happy with the 8-year-old's effort. Ben's Cat won the Maryland Million Turf Sprint three straight years, 2010-12, but that race is no longer part of the program. Ben's Cat has finished second in the Mile the last two years.

“He ran a dynamite race,” Leatherbury said. “I’ve got no complaints on that. This makes me feel better. He didn’t want to go a mile, but he dug in the best he could. He gets older every year but keeps his form, and he acquitted himself today.”

Talk Show Man is a son of Great Notion, who stands at the Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Md.

Lassie: My Magician digs in to take Lassie

My Magician won her maiden in style by holding off Rocky Policy and Rockin Jojo in the stretch of the $102,000 Maryland Million Lassie.

My Magician, third in her first two starts at Timonium and Laurel, tracked the leaders early in the Lassie. She rallied five wide into the stretch and then dug in with determination to holf off Rocky Policy, who was on her outside, by a neck. Rockin Jojo finished a neck behind Rocky Policy while finishing inside the top pair.

My Magician gave Michael Trombetta his second Maryland Million winner of the day. He previously had won the Sprint with D C Dancer. Julian Pimentel rode.

“I had a good trip,” said Pimentel. “There was a lot of speed in the race, but the main thing was to get her to relax. She did that pretty good, and when I asked her to run, she did."

My Magician, a son of Street Magician, is owned by R. Larry Johnson and R.D.M Racing. She paid $59.40 and covered six furlongs in 1:12.11.
Street Magician stands at Heritage Stallions in Chesapeake City, Md.