Updated on 09/17/2011 10:27PM

Sir Ray puts on a show winning Calder stakes

Sir Ray wins the $50,000 Maryland My Maryland Stakes at Calder on Saturday.

MIAMI - Sir Ray turned Saturday's inaugural running of Calder's $50,000 Maryland My Maryland Stakes into a memorable event.

Sir Ray bolted around the clubhouse turn of the 1 3/16-mile stakes, dropped to the rear of the eight-horse field and raced up against the outside fence for nearly the entire length of the backstretch. He reasserted himself approaching the second turn, overtook Perspicacious in early stretch, then edged away to an amazing 2 1/2-length victory.

Jockey Manoel Cruz, who had to call off an outrider when it appeared he was about to be pulled up in the run down the backstretch, put up the courageous ride aboard the winner for trainer Bill White.

Sir Ray returned $6.20 after negotiating 1 3/16 miles in 2:04.12 over a fast but very cuppy racetrack.

"He's got a very sensitive mouth, and if the bit shifts into the wrong spot he really resents it," White explained. "When he bolted around the first turn and was up against the outside fence down the backstretch, I was just waiting for him to be pulled up. But I guess Manoel still felt comfortable with him, because he yelled at the outrider to leave him alone, allowed the horse to gallop along for a while, and somehow was able to get back into the race. In 20 years of training I've never seen anything like it."

Cruz said he never lost confidence in Sir Ray despite the unconventional trip.

"When we were going around the first turn on the outside fence, I was confident I could get back in the race," said Cruz. "The outrider was going to try and pick me up on the backside, but even then I felt like we were still in it. When we reached the three-eighths pole he straightened out and re-broke."