05/16/2014 1:24PM

Seefeldt wins Lady Legends race after finish line faux pas

Barbara D. Livingston
Andrea Seefeldt was all smiles after getting up in deep stretch to win the Lady Legends for the Cure on Friday at Pimlico.

BALTIMORE - Andrea Seefeldt rode Zuerstgold to victory in the Lady Legends for a Cure race on Friday at Pimlico.

Seefeldt, 50, was riding in a race for the first time since 2011, when she last participated in the Lady Legends for a Cure race here. The event highlights the role of women in racing while seeking to raise awareness of and funds for breast cancer research. Seefeldt’s mother died of breast cancer in 2004.

The Lady Legends for a Cure is a regular pari-mutuel race, carded as race 3 on the Friday program at Pimlico, and backers of two horses, Big Lute and Graced, were left disappointed. Big Lute, the even-money favorite, made a premature move to the lead while racing wide into the stretch under Sharon Frances Gunther, who replaced one of two original Lady Legends participants injured while training for the event. Worse, Stacie Clark-Rogers misjudged the finish line while on the way to an apparent victory aboard Graced, the 5-2 second choice. Clark-Rogers stood up in the saddle several yards before the finish as Seefeldt and Zuerstgold rolled past on the outside.

“I just misjudged the wire,” Clark-Rogers said. “It’s not like I’m the first ship-in to do it. I do feel terrible about it.”

Seefeldt, riding in a race for the first time in two years, said she put to use tactics gleaned from her mentor, the Maryland-based trainer Dickie Small, who passed away earlier this year.

“When I rode for Dickie, we always used to come from behind, and on a sloppy day like today, no one wants to be back there, and everyone goes to the front,” Seefeldt said.

Breaking from the rail, Seefeldt took back, saved ground for much of the race, and swung wide to rally for the victory.

“I knew what I needed to do, but it wasn’t easy to get myself to do it,” said Seefeldt.

Seefeldt felt a mix of anticipation and fear, she said, as soon as the Friday overnight was published by the track. It takes serious work for a retired rider like Seefeldt to get back into race shape. And still, the high of actually riding in a competitive race still kindles in former jockeys.

“I felt fine in the race, but in the gate, I was terrified,” she said. “It’s thrilling at the same.”

Zuerstgold paid $15.20 to win. Finishing behind Graced were Big Blue Talent and Tammi Purcell-Burkland, Big Lute, It’s My Perogative and Abigail Fuller, Rojo Perfecto and Patti Cooksey, Macho Spaces and Cheryl White, and Clowning Around and Kaymarie Kreidel.

James Barry More than 1 year ago
How can you misjudge the finish line? There's only one at Pimlico
James Barry More than 1 year ago
I mean, there is one giant pole that says FINISH on it. How do you not see that? lol
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maryland stewards must look into this Jockeys have served time in jail for this kind of event to let it pass sets a president that will come back to haunt them
Walter More than 1 year ago
Why did this event come to an end? It should continue to be run each year.
Alice Bauml More than 1 year ago
Racing really needs to stop this circus as a betting race. Just make this in the future as a non-betting event. This was truly a disgrace and half of the "girls" should get fined and suspended. Oh wait, they don't do this ride anymore. If ever this looked like a fixed race, here is the example. What a disgrace.
Chance Abern More than 1 year ago
alice your in idiot you need to shut ur pie hole just saying