Class Leader Delivers Stirring Stretch Drive In Sir Barton Stakes

BALTIMORE, 05-17-14---Lane’s End Racing’s Class Leader lagged far off the pace early before making an extended drive to prevail in the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes for 3-year olds Saturday at Pimlico.

Making only his fifth lifetime start, the Neil Howard-trained colt caught Life In Shambles and Six Spot in the shadow of the wire to win the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton by a head in 1:43.79 on a fast main track.  James Graham, who celebrated his 35th birthday Saturday, was aboard for the hard-fought victory.

Class Leader paid $5.60. The Sir Barton was the first stakes win for the son of Smart Strike.
 

SIR BARTON STAKES QUOTES

Winning Trainer Neil Howard (Class Leader): “He’s a nice colt. He’s kind of a big colt, still growing up, but a very nice colt. I think he has a future. We couldn’t be happier. He had to work but that’s the kind of horse he is. It just takes a while for him to get his feet under him. We all agreed he was a little close in the Illinois Derby, but the horse that won (Dramatic Impact) is a very nice horse running in the Preakness today. We weren’t quite ready for that.”

Winning Jockey James Graham (Class Leader): “He ran a great race. I didn’t take him, he took me. I didn’t ask him, he went. I was a good passenger. The only trouble we had was in the first turn. We got a little squeezed and he dropped the bit, but he came back running. (The running time of) 1:43 for a mile and a sixteenth – that’s running there.”