Sandbar Gets Last Call in Maryland Sprint Handicap

BALTIMORE, MD., 05/16/15 – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Sandbar took the lead from defending champion Happy My Way in mid-stretch and went on to a three-quarter length win in Friday’s $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3).

The 29th running of the Maryland Sprint for 3-year-olds and up was the first of four graded stakes and second of eight total stakes on the 14-race Preakness Day program at Pimlico Race Course.

It was the first career graded-stakes victory for trainer Joe Sharp, and second win on the afternoon for jockey Joel Rosario. A 4-year-old gelded son of War Pass , Sandbar ($10.80) ran six furlongs in 1:09.81 over a fast main track.

Winless since his victory here last year, Happy My Way broke well and led through fractions of 23.14 seconds, 45.31 and 57.31 with Sandbar pressing on his right flank. Sandbar moved up to challenge in the stretch and surged past as 12-1 long shot Service for Ten, third in the 2014 Sprint, made a bid on the inside to finish second by a head over Happy My Way.


Winning trainer Joe Sharp (Sandbar):“Joel (Rosario) did an outstanding job. The horse is very flexible. He took advantage of a slow pace and kept him close. We won the dogfight down the lane. Hats off to horse and rider. Mr. (Ken) Ramsey and I claimed the horse last fall. They can get good and progress steadily and he has. We’ve believed in him all along.”

Winning jockey Joel Rosario (Sandbar):“He broke sharp, but it looked like [Happy My Way] wanted the lead. Around the turn, I could feel the horses coming up on the outside and I asked him for a little run and he responded well.”

 Jockey Julian Pimentel (Service for Ten, 2nd):“It set up well. It went very well for us. They started coming out at the three-sixteenths. When they started to come out, I saw my chance and went to my left hand and we took advantage of it.”

Trainer Joe Orseno (Happy My Way, 3rd): “Not the result I was hoping for. But he got to run his race. He hasn’t run in three months and we thought we had him ready. But I think the three months caught up with him. He had the speed. The jock slowed him down. It would have been better if he had had an easy lead. That horse just locked onto him and wore him out. I think I had the best horse, but if his fitness took its toll, we didn’t have him fit enough.”

Jockey Joe Bravo (Happy My Way, 3rd):“We let the horse talk to us and he finished third.”