Sylvia E. Heft’s Eighttofasttocatch took the lead ten jumps out of the gate and then led the rest of the way to win the $91,750 Henry S. Clark Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday.
Winning for the first time in four tries at Pimlico, Eighttofasttocatch carried Forrest Boyce for the first time to a widening, five length victory in 1:43.91 for the 1-1/16th mile distance. The race had been carded at one mile on the turf but lost eleven runners to scratches when it was moved to the main track.
“I was happy it came off the turf because we would have had to break from the 14-hole in a 14 horse field, so getting the 3-hole in a five horse field was nice,” said winning trainer Tim Keefe. “He is set in his ways and everything has to go right for him and it did today.”
The son of Not For Love won his seventh career stakes race and boosted his career earnings to $645,430. Boyce worked Eighttofasttocatch at Laurel Park last Saturday and liked what she saw.
“It was cool to finally get the mount on him,” said Boyce. “He settled in quite nicely but you always worry when you have that kind of lead with those kind of fractions. But I left him alone. He was very relaxed being out there on the lead and he kept on going.”
The last two years, Keefe has run his star in the Dixie Stakes (G2) and Pimlico Special (G3) but indicated he will not do so this year. Instead he will focus the next six months on getting the 7-year-old to the Maryland Million Classic in October at Laurel, where he has won six stakes.
“He has been solid and the key is that Arnold and Sylvia do not pressure me to run,” added Keefe.
Lubango finished second with Concealed Identity third. Eighttofasttocatch paid $3.80.
Article from Maryland Jockey Club.