The Heavenly Cause Stakes at Pimlico Race Course was incorrectly described in the Oct. 31 Sports section. It is a $75,000 race. (Published 11/1/04)
-- Breeding and racing in this country don't trace back much further than the family of Hal C.B. Clagett, which founded Weston Farm in Prince George's County in 1670.
The scarlet-and-pink Clagett silks don't show up in the winner's circle after stakes races as often as they used to, but Saturday, the ninth-generation Clagett, 87, made a dapper appearance with his wife, Jeanne, after his homebred 2-year-old filly, Golden Malibu, drew off to win the $750,000 Heavenly Cause Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
"We've had good reason to say this race is a heavenly cause," said Clagett, dressed in a baby-blue suit, after winning the race for state-bred 2-year-old fillies for the fifth time in its 19-year history.
Golden Malibu, third on Oct. 9 in the Maryland Million Lassie, had a perfect trip under jockey Larry Reynolds. She stalked dueling leaders Carneros and Dream Package before swinging wide in the stretch and taking over inside the eighth pole, beating Take a Check by 11/2 lengths. Her time of 1 minute 11.94 seconds in the six-furlong race bettered the time Monster Chaser ran in the companion Rollicking Stakes for colts two races earlier.
"She's always showed promise on the track, but she was a little bit green in the beginning," said trainer Karel Ridder, who allowed Golden Malibu to break her maiden in a claiming race before stepping her up to stakes company.
"She's got ability that's going from out of the latent and into the obvious," Clagett said.
For Ridder, 42, a South African who become Clagett's farm manager in 1997 and trainer in 2000, this was his first career stakes victory.
Ridder said he plans to drop Golden Malibu into an allowance race as a tuneup for the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship on Dec. 31.
In the Rollicking, Monster Chaser avenged a loss in the Maryland Million Nursery to What's Up Lonely, winning by 11/4 lengths while long shot Bank On the Champ held on for second.
Monster Chaser closed from seventh to finish second in the Maryland Million race, and jockey Richard Monterrey said he knew he needed to be closer to beat What's Up Lonely.
As it turned out, What's Up Lonely never threatened as Bank On the Champ made all the pace with Monster Chaser stalking to his outside before taking over late and winning the six-furlong race in a time of 1:12.50.
The two stakes races were scheduled to be run at Laurel at seven furlongs, but the construction of new racing surfaces at that track has fallen behind schedule. Trainer Eddie Gaudet, who purchased Monster Chaser with his wife, Linda, last year for $10,000 at a Timonium sale, said he expects his colt to be more effective stretching out to a longer distance.
"He gets running late," Gaudet said. "He's durable, a tough kind of horse."