Jeweler's Choice tops out-of-towners


Just as they did for the Preakness, horses came from virtually everywhere for yesterday's $154,350 Maryland Budweiser Breeders' Cup. In the field of five older sprinters, four had shipped in to Pimlico Race Course from elsewhere.

But it was the one local horse, Jeweler's Choice, who got top prize in the six-furlong event.

Scoring the richest victory of his 44-race career, Jeweler's Choice powered past favored Shuttleman in midstretch and won by nearly a length.

Chris McCarron, who began his stellar career in Maryland in the early 1970s, rode the winner for Fourbros Stable and trainer John Hicks. Fourbros is owned by Tom and Bob Manfuso, part-owners of Pimlico, and George and Geoffrey Huguely.

"He was ready for this spot, which we'd been waiting for," said Hicks.

The biggest prior victory for Jeweler's Choice, a 6-year-old gelding, also came at Pimlico. He won the $100,000 Maryland Sprint in the Maryland Million last September.

Shuttleman, a Florida invader and the 13-10 favorite, dueled on the lead through the first half-mile of the race with Bravely Bold, a New York shipper, outside of him.

Turning for home, Shuttleman gained a short lead, but by that time, Jeweler's Choice -- last in the early going -- was on his way.

McCarron steered him outside, and Jeweler's Choice quickly went to the lead.

"I got into him at the three-eighths pole, and he responded," said McCarron. "Then it was just a question of when he was going to get there, and he did."

Hadif, in from Kentucky, finished third, Bravely Bold was fourth and For Really, from New York, ran last.

The $92,610 winner's share boosted the Jeweler's Choice's career earnings to more than $425,000. He paid $11.20 to win after finishing in 1 minute, 10 1/5 seconds.

In other supporting features on the Preakness program:

* Senator To Be, trained by Nick Zito, won the $50,000 Never Bend Handicap for older horses.

Pat Day was aboard the 4-year-old colt in the 1 1/16-mile race. Day saved ground much of the way, then angled outside for the drive before wearing down Flaming Emperor in the final yards.

J.R.'s Horizon, the favorite ridden by McCarron, faded in the final turn and finished sixth.

"When Chris' horse stopped, it was a little touchy," said Day. "But then I got outside, and, when I set him down, he responded."

Senator To Be, third choice in a field of nine, paid $11 to win.

* The $40,000 Snow Chief Handicap for 3-year-olds was won by Doctor Fish after a clever ride from Edgar Prado. Doctor Fish, a 7-1 shot, rallied along the rail in the final turn, angled outside, then ran down Pretty Amusing in the final furlong.

* The inaugural $25,000 Maryland Million Handicap, a starter allowance race, produced an exciting duel between jockeys Chris Antley and McCarron. Big Upheavel, carrying Antley, eked out a nose decision over Pacecapade, McCarron up, after a stretch-long duel.

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