MARYLAND SPRINT H. | PURSE: $150,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 3 | 6 FURLONGS
Running for the first time in 2013, Michael Dubb's Sage Valley earned his fourth straight victory in a row when he took the $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico Race Course May 18.
Ridden by John Velazquez to victory over eight other older horses in the six-furlong event, Sage Valley completed the distance in 1:10.51 on the fast main track. He was unraced since a 6 3/4-length romp in the Mr. Nasty overnight stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack last Nov. 9.
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez sent out the 4-year-old son of Discreet Cat , who now has won five of eight career starts. Dubb claimed him last year for $50,000 from a third-place finish in an Aqueduct allowance race in February 2012.
Fourth off the pace set by Manito, who dashed to the front for a quarter-mile in :22.84 and a half-mile in :45.77, Sage Valley moved up approaching the final turn through five-eighths in :57.97. He drew off to pass Hardened Wildcat, who had taken the lead turning for home. Laurie's Rocket closed for third.
Sage Valley paid $6.60, $4, and $2.80, while Hardened Wildcat brought $3.80 and $2.60 and Laurie's Rocket returned $2.80.
Sage Valley was bred in Kentucky by Buck Pond Farm out of the Cryptoclearance mare Ashwood C C.