Bud Delp called Spectacular Bid as “the greatest horse to ever look through a bridle.”
Maybe so, but according to Bill Boniface, another locally based horse — his Deputed Testamony — had his own spot in the bridle-looking-through hall of fame. “A more courageous horse never looked through a bridle,” he said of the son of Traffic Cop who died yesterday at Boniface’s Bonita Farm. The oldest living classic winner in North America was 32.
DT achieved his greatest fame in 1983, when he upset the Preakness. He remains the most recent Maryland-bred winner of the state’s most important race. Yet that race was neither the beginning, nor the end, of his excellence on the racetrack. Deputed Testamony was part of one of the great Maryland-bred classes of all time — good enough that neither he nor Belmont winner Caveat had enough to win the ’82 Maryland Juvenile Championship for state-breds. That honor went to another future Grade 1 winner, Dixieland Band, whose greatest notoriety came in the breeding shed.
But from modest beginnings — a modest breeding and a sixth in maiden claiming company in his debut — DT became a seven-time stake winner of more than $600,000. Among his wins were the Grade 1 Haskell, Grade 3 Governor’s Cup at Bowie, and the Federico Tesio at Pimlico. In the second race of his four year-old season, in the City of Baltimore Handicap at Pimlico, Deputed Testamony set a track record for 1 1/16 miles which still stands: 1:40 4/5.
In the breeding shed, Deputed Testamony sired 21 stakes winners, and he’s the broodmare sire of Grade 1 winners Bellamy Road and Whitmore’s Conn.
“The son of very modestly bred parents, Deputed Testamony reached the highest pinnacle of racing, a true testament to all horse breeders that anything is possible in the great sport of horse racing,” Boniface told the Blood-Horse (here).
In other news:
- In our Race o’, the All Brandy Stakes on the turf, Charged Cotton (“she has every right to continue moving forward,” we said) earned a good-looking victory, her first in stakes company. The only bad news was that the horse, 4-1 in the morning line, left the post at a meager 7-5. Grant Park and Daydreamin Gracie filled out the triple. The other three we’d mentioned — Access to Charlie (“this feels like it’s not out of range for her”), Baltimore Belle (“on class alone, it’s hard to throw her out”), and Cross Mountain (“look for an improved effort”) ran fourth, fifth, and sixth.
- The carryover in Laurel’s Jackpot Pick 5 has grown to more than $29,000.
For today’s Race o’, I’m assuming that Laurel will be off the turf, so let’s get right to it in the first race. It’s a $5,000 claimer for fillies and mares that have either a) never won four races or b) not won a race since March 19. Over Marketed (#5, 8-5) is the morning line fave, and while I can’t get excited about what feels like a too-short price, she certainly is a nice fit here. In her most recent, she came in a solid third against similar while earning a Beyer of 58, the best last-out fig in the race. If you’re inclined to quibble, you can hang your hat on the seven-furlong distance’ she’s never won beyond six. All but two of these qualify for this race under the never-won-four condition; one of the exceptions is Centripetal Motion (#4, 5-1), who looks like a potential value play here. She barely qualifies for this race, having won most recently on March 17, just two days before the cutoff. She’s raced just four times since, and while she hasn’t been in great form, three of those were against demonstrably better competition than she’ll see here. She’s won once at Laurel, five times in eight tries at this distance, and 11 times in her career; I’d give her a shot to find the line first again here. Joy Train (#1, part of entry, 3-1), a former That’s Amore runner, sure liked Timonium, posting a first and a second there. She’s in good form now, and though I don’t know about her getting the money, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her cash a check today. Sugah Sweet (#6, 8-1) got up late to win her last at Timonium, and among those she vanquished was the seven in here, Gigi’s Mandate. With her closing style, she’ll need some pace help, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she got it, and while her career record isn’t much, she has two wins, a second, and a third from her last five starts. At the very least, she should be running late. That foe from her last, Gigi’s Mandate, is the beneficiary of a significant weight swing; when they last met, Sugah Sweet carried two pounds more than Gig’s Mandate; today, she’ll carry 13 more. I’m expecting she’ll be forwardly placed again and have company again. If not, these predictions may get blown up.