Longshot Knightly Marvin put on a strong rally to win the $25,000-added W.P. Burch Stakes at Bowie Race Course yesterday by a half-length over the favored Do The Bump in a driving finish.
Counter Punch held on tenaciously for third, a nose farther back.
Knightly Marvin was rated early by jockey Robert Gilbert, then charged up to challenge Do The Bump and Counter Punch in the run to the wire. The three were noses apart in the run through the stretch until well below the sixteenth pole. It was there that Knightly Marvin, a son of Knightly Manner, inched away to his first Stakes win.
It was also the first stakes win for owner Robert Harpe, who bought Knightly Marvin for $12,000 at the Timonium Sales Ring.
Knightly Marvin paid $56.40 to win and proved the top part of a 6-4 exacta worth $191.40. He ran the six furlongs in 1:11 2/5.
Jockey Gilbert said, "He surprised me. I worked him the other morning at Bowie and thought he just an average horse. He was dead game today."
Robert Braxton, one of the few black horse trainers, said he would run Knightly Marvin back in the General George Feb. 21.
The Saturday crowd of 15,676 poured $1,848,901 through the machines.