A crowd of 15,775 racing fans showed up for Pimlico's opening day today and broke the betting record by wagering $1,978,521 on the 10-race program. The previous opening day mark was $1,823,465.
The highly regarded Amber Pass took the featured Hirsch Jacobs Stakes by a length over longshot Pickett's Charge in a driving finish. Peace For Peace, another longshot, held for third position.
Amaber Pass and jockey Donald Mcbeth had to sweat out a foul claim lodged by Danny Wright, rider of the runner-up. Wright claimed Amber Pass forced his force out on the far turn, but the plea was turned down by stewards after a lengthy review of the racing films.
Amber Pass, a solid looking son of Belmont winner Pass Catcher, ran the six furlongs in 1:10 4-5 and paid $2.60.
Trainer Sonny Hine was presented a new stopwatch in the winner's circle by the family of the late Hirsch Jacobs. Hine remarked. "They gave me a new stopwatch because this horse (Amber Pass) broke mine with his fast workouts in the mornings. He goes in the Bay Shore (Aqueduct) next weekend."
The victory was worth $21,417.50 to the owners of Amber Pass, who now shows three wins and a second in four career outings.