MARYLAND SPRINT H. | PURSE: $100,000 | GRADE: 3 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | 6 FURLONGS
Best known for his 23-1 runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs in 2010, Hamazing Destiny was still winless in stakes company heading into the Grade 3, $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico on Saturday. However, the D. Wayne Lukas trainee finally got off the duck before one the largest crowds of the year on the Preakness undercard.
Sitting a perfect trip in third behind dueling leaders Immortal Eyes and Diski Dance, Hamazing Destiny ranged alongside those two to poke his nose in front at the quarter pole and went on to score a comfortable 1 1/2 length win in the six-furlong dash. The 5-2 slight choice in a field of seven, Hamazing Destiny finished up in 1:10 2/5 over a fast track under Corey Nakatani.
"The trip was great," Nakatai said. "He broke alertly and they weren't going as fast as they were at Churchill last time (in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs on May 5). So it helped to get in a real stalking position. Coach (Lukas) wanted me to be just off them like we were. It enabled him to run his best race. He ran a tremendous race."
Bandbox, who raced wide down the backside, tracked the eventual winner to the stretch but proved second best as the 5-2 second choice. He finished 1 3/4 lengths clear of Action Andy, a 9-1 chance who had 3 3/4 lengths on Diski Dance. The latter traded leads with fifth-place finisher Immortal Eyes through early splits of :23 and :46 1/5. Rounding out the order of finish were Wildcat Brief and Lay Line Force. Scratched from the Maryland Sprint were Broad Rule, My Cuz C J and 2009 winner Ravalo.
In addition to his second-place effort behind champion Big Drama in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Sprint, Hamazing Destiny had previously placed in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, Grade 3 Phoenix, and several listed stakes. His career record now stands at 26-5-6-4, $705,375. He's owned by Barry Butzow and Westrock Stables.
Produced by the unraced Artax mare Ms Proud Destiny, Hamazing Destiny was bred in Kentucky by Destinaire Farm.