October 21, 2021

Hot barn, early speed may give Field Pass upper hand in BWI Turf Cup

Field Pass
Field Pass wins the 2020 Translyvania Stakes (Coady Photography)

Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup (G3) — Race 8 (4:31 p.m. ET)

Trainer Mike Maker has won with four of his nine starters during the 2021 Pimlico meet, and looks to have one of the horses to beat when Field Pass breaks from post 1 in Saturday’s $200,000 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup (G3) over one mile.

Although unplaced in all three outings this year, Field Pass ran a solid fourth in both the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) and Wise Dan (G2) in Kentucky, and found the 1 3/8-mile distance of the Man o’ War (G1) too far for his liking. The multiple Grade 3 winner also benefits from being one of only two among the field of six with any serious speed.

“I think the class relief will be the main thing. He ran good in the Maker’s Mark off the layoff so the distance isn’t a concern,” Maker said.

The other with early foot, Ramsey Solution, exits a second-place finish in the Douglas Park S. at Churchill Downs to the talented Set Piece. The May 29 contest was the season debut for Ramsey Solution, who captured the restricted Tapit S. at Kentucky Downs over a mile and 70 yards last fall for trainer Wesley Ward.

The potential Turf Cup favorite, 2020 Del Mar Derby (G1) winner Pixelate, has done little wrong during the Pimlico meet. Second by a nose in the Henry Clark S. in late April, he rebounded to win the nine-furlong Prince George’s County S. by a length last month for Godolphin and trainer Mike Stidham.

Talk Or Listen, runner-up in the Dinner Party (G2) on Preakness Day, was a dull sixth to Pixelate last time, while English Bee was no threat in either that race or the Prince George’s County.

Three other grass stakes on Pimlico’s Saturday card also came up with small fields. Counterparty Risk, who captured the Endeavour (G3) earlier this year for Chad Brown, is the most notable entrant on the undercard as a likely strong favorite in the $100,000 Big Dreyfus S. for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.