BALTIMORE,MD 05-16-09---Lindy M. Redding’s Ravalo narrowly prevailed after a furious battle to the finish line in the 23rd running of the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap Saturday at Pimlico.
Sent to post for the Grade 3 sprint as the 8-5 favorite in a field of seven, Ravalo stumbled out of the starting gate before reaching a stalking position outside the leaders along the backstretch. Urged by jockey John Velazquez, Ravalo swept to the lead at the top of the lane and battled with Silver Edition to the wire before claiming victory by a head.
Silver Edition, who forced the early pace, refused to give up the fight and finished two lengths clear of Celtic Innis in third.
Ravalo, a 5-year-old gelded son of Mutakddim trained by Donald Barr at Laurel Park, paid $5.40.
Maryland Sprint Handicap Quotes
Donald Barr, winning trainer, Ravalo – “He’s not an especially good gate horse and he didn’t get off to the best start today. He stumbled and grabbed a quarter when someone came in front of him after the start. But he does have an awful lot of speed. and, but once he gets going, he’s good to go.
John Velazquez, winning jockey, Ravalo -- “He’s a nice horse and did a good job today. After the stumble, he settled in and I figured he was OK. At the five-sixteenths pole, I showed him the whip. He responded and I said, ‘OK, let’s go.’ He had to run really hard all the way, and I give him all the credit.”
D. Wayne Lukas, trainer, Silver Edition, 2nd – “(Julien Leparoux) rode a good race and the horse ran his eyeballs out. He ran hard. We were just second, that’s all. I would have liked to have been outside if I could have been. I thought he was going to come back and maybe get him. If we had another 50 yards, he might have.”
Julien Leparoux, jockey, Silver Edition, 2nd – “He broke sharp and I was very close to the pace. The winner got a little jump on us, but my horse came back and fought all the way. He ran very big.”
Timothy O’Keefe, trainer, Celtic Innis, 3rd – “He never stopped and he beat some pretty good runners. The top two ran a huge race. I’m happy with the effort and the ride.”
Jeremy Rose, jockey, Celtic Innis, 3rd – “He seemed to run well of the layoff and didn’t show his age.”