Preakness winner Deputed Testamony reinforced his bid for the 3-year-old championship yesterday when he overcame close quarters approaching the stretch turn and overtook Country Pine in the final yards of the $107,600 Governor's Cup at Bowie. The margin was a neck.
Bet Big tired to third, five lengths back. Megaturn finished fourth and Handi last.
The victory brought Deputed Testamony's earnings to $468,654 in a career record of eight victories in 14 starts. He carried top weight of 124 pounds, with jockey Herb McCauley, over the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50 2/5.
"What a race," trainer Bill Boniface said. "He spotted a colt like Country Pine weight (five pounds), overcame being in a pocket, then ran like a good horse should through the final quarter. If he wins the Haskell (July 30 at Monmouth Park) and the Travers (Aug. 13 at Saratoga), he should get the championship."
Pacesetter Bet Big got away with slow early fractions in the Governor's Cup, Bowie's richest race of the summer meeting, going in :24 1/5 for the quarter mile and :48 2/5 for the half. The pace stepped up in the next quarter when Bet Big, ridden by Donnie Miller, was timed in 1:12 4/5.
Meanwhile, Country Pine was in high gear and bearing down on Bet Big just as McCauley was pulling Deputed Testamony out of close quarters, and the winner drew away under heavy punishment.
It was Boniface's eighth stakes victory this year.
In the cofeatured Toddler Stakes, Masked Barb, a first-time starter, won by six lengths over Me Darlin Anna B. in 1:05 for the 5 1/2-furlong distance--the fastest of the meeting.