Dixieland Band, a lightly raced son of Northern Dancer out of the mare Mississippi Mud, nosed out Deputed Testamony after a furious stretch duel in yesterday's $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship at Laurel.
Caveat, the even-money favorite, finished third after encountering close quarters several times in the race and a hesitation at the sixteenth pole by jockey Eddie Maple, who apparently misjudged the finish line.
Dixieland Band prompted the early pace of No Body Elses, the lone filly in the field of nine, and stayed along the rail when straightened for the stretch run. Caveat extricated himself from heavy traffic at that point, and took the lead when approaching the eighth pole.
Donald Miller had Deputed Testamony in gear while being carried wide turning for home and the three pulled away from the pack. Deputed Testamony took the lead from Caveat for a stride, but Vince Bracciale urged his mount with right-handed whipping and edged ahead. Approaching the finish line Deputed Testamony again appeared to have a slight edge until the last stride, when Bracciale urged Dixieland Band past the wire first by a nose.
The victory for Dixieland Band was his first in a stakes and third in five starts. Trainer Charles Peoples said, "It's up to (owner Bayard Sharp) whether he races again this year or not." Sharp collected a $60,000 purse that brought his colt's earnings to $72,757.
Bracciale said "He's a game colt. I didn't know whether we had won the photo. I was too busy riding." Miller commented, "Deputed Testamony got carried wide around the turn. I think he was best."
The time was 1:45 1/5 over a mile and one-sixteenth.