BALTIMORE,MD 05-15-10 – Belle Meadows Farm & Lael Stable’s Beau Choix carried Javier Castellano to his third winner on the Preakness Day card, rallying from just off the pace to take the $70,000 James W. Murphy Stakes at Pimlico.
The mile turf race honors the memory of James W. “Jimmy” Murphy, a longtime trainer on the Maryland racing circuit who died last year at age 82.
Barclay Tagg, who saddled Funny Cide for victories in the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, trains the chestnut son of Elusive Quality, who collected his first stakes win in the inaugural running of the Murphy. Beau Choix prevailed over a late-closing Manhattan Fox by 1 ¾ lengths, running the mile in 1:34.93. Cat Park finished well to come in third.
Beau Choix paid $6.80 to win.
James W. Murphy Stakes Quotes
Barclay Tagg (winning trainer, Beau Choix) – “It was exactly the way I wanted it to go. Everything worked fine. It was almost like Funny Cide’s Kentucky Derby. He broke good; he stayed where I wanted him to stay; and he was in a nice stalking position. It was a bit of a jump for him, because most of these horses have won their allowance conditions and he hadn’t yet. But he’s been training very well. I just had a good feeling about him.”
Javier Castellano (winning jockey, Beau Choix) – “That’s where I wanted to be – in that spot, off the speed. There was plenty of speed in the race and my horse was a stalker. I just wanted to swing around turning for home, and he finished very strong. I dropped my rein on the left side and tried to grab it. And at the same time I grabbed it, I lost the other one. It was a mess, I feel like I never rode in my life.”
Christophe Lorieul (assistant to trainer Christophe Clement, Manhattan Fox, 2nd) – “We’re very pleased with the race. We were happy to get second since Garrett got shuffled back a bit and we were only beaten by about a length and a half. The horse looks fine.”
Garrett Gomez (jockey, Manhattan Fox, 2nd) – “It was a great race. This horse wants to go a little further; he needed a little more ground today. I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be and I got shuffled back a little bit. When we came in the stretch, the other horse was in a better position than we were and had the jump on us.”
Graham Motion (trainer, Cat Park, 3rd) – “We just can’t seem to catch a lucky break. Ramon said he got covered up and couldn’t get out. Maybe he’ll appreciate a longer distance the next time.”
Ramon Dominguez (jockey, Cat Park, 3rd) – “We ran into trouble at the quarter-pole. The field loosened up and started to come back. I had to check and start over. I had to swing him outside and he finished up good.”