When the expected competition failed to show up, Sylvia Heft’s Eighttofasttocatch had it his own way once again as he galloped to victory in the $100,000 Broad Brush Stakes.
This was the tenth stakes win for the Tim Keefe trainee and his third stakes victory in a row at Laurel Park after taking the Maryland Million Classic and the Jennings Handicap this fall.
Under Forest Boyce, Eighttofasttocatch broke alertly from his outside post, then rated off of frontrunner Warrioroftheroses until neither he nor Boyce could wait no more. They pressed to the fore at the at the quarter pole and pulled away to win by two lengths. A.P. Cino took second and Gourmet Dinner finished third.
The winner covered the 1-1/8th mile distance in 1:53.01 and paid $3.40.
The expected competition, Lucy’s Big Boy, Ponzi Scheme and Fred High, were just not heard from today.
“There were a couple of horses in there today that had a lot of speed, so we knew that they would try him early today,” said Boyce. “His best races, yes they have been when he is in front, but at some point you know they’re coming after him. I just keep him happy and try not to let him get too aggressive. He was very settled today and he ran extremely fast the last 3/8ths. I don’t think he’s a one dimensional horse. Sometimes the best game plan is to not have a game plan at all.”
“We worked on simulating the race with other horses in the morning in case he had to race outside,” said Keefe. “Peter Brown-Whale, his exercise rider, didn’t really have to ask him to go. He is such a smart horse, he knew just what to do. The fractions were a little slower than we expected. He is really right now. The race set up as we expected and he relaxed just off the pace. When Forest asked him to go, he was ready.”