05/17/2014 1:14PM

Happy My Way outguns Maryland Sprint rivals

Barbara D. Livingston
Happy My Way, ridden by Joe Bravo, cruises to a 5 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap.

BALTIMORE - Happy My Way put to bed the notion that he’s simply a Gulfstream Park horse-for-course with a devastatingly easy 5 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico.

Lemon Drop Dream, the only graded winner in the field entering the race, finished second, one length ahead of Service for Ten. Sneaking Uponyou and Action Andy completed the order of finish. Salutos Amigos was scratched.

The win was the sixth from 15 career starts for Happy My Way. Four of his wins came at Gulfstream, including three this past winter.

“I believe that’s behind us now,” said trainer Joe Orseno. “I’m hoping he likes Santa Anita now. That’s my next biggest fear.”

Santa Anita is where the Breeders’ Cup Sprint will be held on Nov. 1.

Happy My Way, under Joe Bravo, used his brilliant speed to run his five rivals off their feet. He rocketed out of the gate and opened up 1 1/2-length lead while running a quarter-mile in 22.85 seconds. He extended his lead at each point of call, running a half-mile in 45.22, five furlongs in 56.88, and covered six furlongs in 1:09.21. He returned $3.20 as the favorite.

Orseno said his biggest fear entering the race was that Sneaking Uponyou, who broke from the rail, could get the early lead.

“I told Joey, I heard from somebody at Tampa when that horse gets loose he gets real brave, not to let him get too far ahead of us,” Orseno said. “Joey looked at me in the paddock and said ‘I don’t think he’s going to be in front of us.’ ”

Happy My Way, a 4 year-old gelding by Wilko, was making his first start since Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Farm purchased half-interest in him from Mel Paikoff. The win gave Sagamore its first ever victory on Preakness Day under the Plank regime.

“First one we had on Preakness Day,” Plank said in the winner’s circle. ‘’We love breaking records. It may be our own record, but we’ll take it. The horse is classy as hell, wire to wire. We’ll take it. Great win.”

Plank said he had just arrived at Pimlico when this race went off. But he and his entourage were able to get a bet down on Happy My Way.

“The reason that thing was 3-5, A, it’s a great horse; B, we had 500 people in the Sagamore racing tent that bet him pretty hard too, which made for a good day,” Plank said.