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Updated on 10/06/2012 6:24PM
Laurel: Not Abroad snaps losing streak in Maryland Million Classic
By Joe DeVivo
Not Abroad, unable to get the job done in a series of much longer races, relished the cut back to 1 1/8 miles and dominated Saturday’s Jim McKay Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park.
The $150,000 Classic was the feature on an 11-race program, worth a collective $1.05 million, devoted to the offspring of Maryland-based stallions.
The 5-year-old Not Abroad ($9.40) had not won since taking an overnight stakes going 1 1/16 miles at Delaware Park in mid-May. He picked up small pieces of the purse in four subsequent stakes starts, including a close second in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup going 1 1/2 miles and the 1 3/16-mile Carl Hanford Memorial at Delaware. The last time he tried nine furlongs, Not Abroad finished a distant third in the Mountainview Handicap at Penn National.
Ridden by Nick Petro for his brother, trainer Mike Petro, Not Abroad made his winning move approaching the second turn when pacesetter Regal Warrior left the rail open. Not Abroad took a clear lead turning for home, opened up a 3 1/2-length margin at the eighth pole, and cruised home four lengths in front to complete the distance in 1:51.06.
“I was happy with his performance,” Nick Petro said. “Real early we got stuck on the inside and I wasn’t happy with my spot. But we got closer and closer and everything worked out. We figured there would be a few horses outside of us with speed so we went in thinking ‘sit’. We did and it worked out great when it was time to go. He was good. Real good.”
Not Abroad finished second in the Classic two years ago and was third last year.
“We had been in this race the last several years,” said Mike Petro. “We felt coming in today that we had a very good chance to win. He has been doing very well lately and we looked forward to this race. We had a great race and at the three-eighths pole everything opened up for us. My brother ran a very good race.”
Regal Warrior, making his first start since March, finished second by a neck over Tujoes. Defending champion Eighttofasttocatch faded to fifth in a field of six as the 6-5 favorite.
A son of Not for Love owned by Tim Cunningham, Not Abroad has won 8 of 33 starts and $563,190.
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