Defending champion Eighttofasttocatch has a mile and an eighth to dispense with five rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes, the closing day feature of the winter meeting at Laurel Park.
Eighttofasttocatch (4-5) won five races at Laurel in 2011, including four stakes races, with an average Beyer Speed figure exceeding 100 and finished fourth in the voting for Maryland-bred Horse of the Year behind graded winners Ben’s Cat, Ask the Moon and Havelock.
The son of Not For Love offspring made his 6-year-old debut with a disappointing fourth place finish in the General George Handicap (G2) on February 20 for trainer Tim Keefe.
“We didn’t have an easy trip and I would love to have the opportunity to run the race again but that is racing,” Keefe said. “He had a great run up until then and I have no complaints. I am very happy with how he is training leading up to this race.”