When Beach Towel, who was undefeated in four starts this year, drew the No. 10 post position for the $316,153 Terrapin Stakes at Rosecroft Raceway Saturday night while 2-year-old champion Till We Meet Again drew a better post, it looked as if Beach Towel was finally going to get sand kicked in his face.
But thanks to a skillful drive by trainer Ray Remmen, Beach Towel once again proved why he is the top-rated 3-year-old in North America this year by winning the Terrapin by a length over Till We Meet Again in 1:54 1/5 on a sloppy track. The race favorite, Beach Towel returned $3.40 to win.
It was the first meeting between the two colts who figure to dominate the 3-year-old pacing this year. The meeting here came about because of the colts' reputations, which reduced the 1990 Terrapin to only one division, the first time that has occurred in the eight-year history of the event.
"The two top horses in the nation scared everyone else away," said Billy Perkins, Rosecroft's racing secretary. "With these two colts in, you are only going for third money." With a $2,500 starting fee, many trainers opted to look for easier money elsewhere.
Remmen won the Terrapin at the start when he guided Beach Towel, starting from the rail in the second tier, out of traffic after Romulus Hanover, racing outside Beach Towel in the No. 11 post, bore out. That gave Remmen room to move around the slower Spirited Style, who started in front of Beach Towel. Once Beach Towel cleared the field to gain the lead and Till We Meet Again paced into second, the contest became a match race.
But Till We Meet Again, driven by Bill Fahy, proved to be no match for Beach Towel. Bookmaker finished third another 1 1/2 lengths back.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the horse," Remmen said.
Till We Meet Again's trainer Larry Rathbone was not as pleased. "The other horse just got too good of a trip," he said.