Completed Pass Back Again in $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint

May 13th, 2021

T D Dance Seeks First Stakes Win in $100,000 James W. Murphy

BALTIMORE, MD | May 13th, 2021 – Robert D. Bone’s Completed Pass is a neck away from being a two-time champion of the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint.

Saturday at Pimlico Race Course, the 7-year-old gelding will attempt to get back to the winner’s circle in the five-furlong race when he starts in it for the third time. The Jim McKay, named for the late Hall of Fame sportscaster Jim McKay, is for 3-year-olds and up.

After winning the Jim McKay by a length in 2019, Completed Pass lost the 2020 version by a neck to Hollis, who is also entered this year.

Trained by Claudio Gonzalez, Maryland’s leading trainer for the past four years, Completed Pass is an Indiana-bred son of Pass Rush that has won two of three career starts at Pimlico, Overall, he has four wins, three seconds and two thirds in 12 career starts on grass.

In his only start this year, Completed Pass won the King Leatherbury – a race named for Maryland’s legendary and still active Hall of Fame horseman – on April 24th. He was ridden in that race by Angel Cruz, who will be on board Completed Pass for the fifth straight time on Saturday.

“He came back and ran a really nice race the last time,” Gonzalez said. “He proved he still can compete with the top ones.”

Completed Pass definitely has the home course advantage with his two wins in three starts on the grass at Pimlico.

“I do believe it is an advantage because he knows the course and he likes the track,” Gonzalez said. “He proved he loves it.”

The biggest obstacle facing Completed Pass could be the post. He will start from the far outside 13 post position.

Boldor, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, has a win and a second in three career starts on grass. In his last start, on turf course labeled good April 155 at Keeneland, Boldor finished second in a 5-½ furlong allowance race.

A 5-year-old son of Munnings, Boldor has done most of his running on dirt. In 13 starts on dirt, he has four wins, two seconds and a third. Six of his starts have been on off tracks where he has two wins and two seconds.

“He tries hard every time,” Asmussen’s assistant Scott Blasi said. “Hopefully, he gets a good trip.”

Ricardo Santana Jr. will ride Boldor from Post 1. He is the fourth different rider the gelding will have this year.

Also entered for the Jim McKay are 8-year-old Dubini, based at Parx Racing with six wins in 24 starts on the grass; Ron Moquett-trained Firecrow, who has shown speed on the dirt but is winless in two starts on grass; first-time turf starter Grab the Gold, another that has shown speed on the dirt; Hollis, who gets the services of three-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.; Laurel Park based 7-year-old Jammer, a winner of five of 22 career starts on grass; 7-year-old Love You Much, winless in his last seven starts over two years; Push To Start, making his grass debut after two wins and three thirds on dirt; Robey’s Boy, fifth in the King Leatherbury in his second start of 2021; So Street, a non-factor when  finishing eighth in the King Leatherbury; The Connector, winner of four of nine turf tries; and The Critical Way, a winner of three of nine starts at the Jim McKay distance.

T D Dance Seeks First Stakes Win in $100,000 James W. Murphy

For T D Dance, the best is yet to come.

At least that’s what reigning Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox is hoping for the son of Can the Man, who is owned by Madaket Stables LLC, Wonder Stable, Paul Farr and Team Hanley.

T D Dance will look to improve his record to three wins in four starts on grass when he runs in Saturday’s $100,000 James W. Murphy, a one-mile race on the turf at Pimlico Race Course. Eight 3-year-olds are entered in the race and T D Dance will start from outside Post 8.

All runners will carry 120 pounds.

The race was first run in 1966 as the Woodlawn Handicap then as the Woodlawn Stakes from 1967 in honor of the Woodlawn Vase, the trophy presented to the winner of the Preakness Stakes (G1). It was renamed in 2010 for the late trainer James W. Murphy, who was a stalwart in Maryland racing.

T D Dance is coming off a win as the favorite in an allowance March 21 at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, winning the 1 1/16-mile race by 1 ¾ lengths.

“I’m looking forward to giving him an opportunity in a stakes,” Cox said.

             Two starts ago, T D Dance had his first try in a stakes race, but it didn’t go well. He finished fifth out of eight in the $75,000 Black Gold Stakes, also at 1 1/16 miles. T D Dance did have some trouble at the start when he was bumped after the break.

Cox had reason for optimism in the next start, albeit against lesser company.

“Two races back, he didn’t perform quite as well as we were hoping,” Cox said. “He was able to rebound and come back and win the allowance race.”

In the James Murphy, T D Dance will be ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano. He will be the fifth different rider in as many starts for the colt.

T D Dance began his career as a 2-year-old at Indiana Downs, breaking his maiden with a two-length win going a mile on the grass last Oct. 6. He followed that with a neck loss Dec. 4 at Fair Grounds in a race that was run at a mile and taken off the grass.

Competition will come from the Wesley Ward-trained Outadore, who is owned by Breeze Easy, LLC and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. Outadore has won two of three starts on the grass. The last time he ran, March 27, he won at Turfway Park in a race that went 6 ½ furlongs on its all-weather surface.

Also entered in the James Murphy are Indian Lake, making his first career start on the grass; Kasim, who has two wins and two seconds in six starts on turf; Pimlico-based Reassured, also making his turf debut; Extrasexybigdaddee, fourth in his first start on grass, the April 17 Woodhaven at Aqueduct, and Mike Trombetta-trained stablemate Arzak; and Charles Chrome, a son of Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner and two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome (2014, 2016) making his 2021 debut.