Jockey Donald Miller Jr. drove favored Piedmont Pete to a 1 1/2-length victory in today's $30,000-added J. Edgar Hoover Handicap at Pimlico, but had to survive a claim of foul by jockey Vince Bracciale astride the second-place finisher, Swelegant, before the result was made official.
The victory aboard Peidmont Pete was the fifth of the afternoon for the 18-year-old jockey, who had scored earlier with Binc, Tiptoe Thomas, Disco Dix and Cache Cache. Four of his victories came while riding for trainer Ron Alfano, who also trains Piedmont Pete.
Geron took the lead from Piedmont Pete in the headliner after a quarter-mile and led to the stretch. There, Miller sent his highweighted mount (122 pounds) up to challenge. Meanwhile, Bracciale had gotten Swelegant into gear after being squeezed back at the starting gate and was closing quickly at the end.
"After we took the lead, my horse got pretty tired through the stretch," Miller said.
Bracciale said, "we were wiped out at the start." After viewing the tape, the stewards ruled that Miller was not at fault and upheld the verdict.
Piedmont Pete ran the six furlongs over a good track in 1:11 and returned $3.80. The five victories on one card was a season-high for any jockey this year on the Maryland racing circuit.