Ripon, a 4-year-old gelding, and Chati, a 4-year-old colt, came on strong in the stretch today to win the two divisions of the Riggs Handicap at Pimlico.
Ripon took the first half under Kelly Castaneda, who nursed the son of Ribocco until the stretch turn. Below the eighth pole longshot All The More loomed boldy but Castaneda rapped Ripon from the right side and held him safe for a three-quarter length victory.
Trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who now has trained three winners of the Riggs, said, "Mr. (George) Strawbridge, Ripon's owner, couldn't be here today because his father-in-law, Redmond Stewart Jr., ran a horse in the Maryland Hunt Cup and his wife wouldn't let him be here." (Stewart's Ben Nevis II won the Hunt Cup).
Ripon returned $7.80 to win and ran the mile and a sixteenth over a firm turf course in 1:44.
In the second half, Chati, under the urging of Donald Brumfield, had to wait for room on the stretch turn, then slipped through to draw away to a 3-length victory. Longshot Piped Abroad held on well to be second, a head before Go Go Roger.
Chati, a son of Terrible Tiger, returned $5.40 to win after running the Riggs distance in a brisk 1:43 3/5. Trainer James W. Murphy said, "I may be back with him for the Dixie."
Today attendance was 16,438 and the betting reached $1,822,615.