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Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred | Favorites

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Under guidance by the meeting’s leading rider Sheldon Russell, the son of Not For Love was quick to assume the lead in the 1-1/8th mile test. Nearing the far turn Cherokee Artist pushed inside the leader and got to the front, setting up a duel that would not be decided until the final furlong, where Eighttofasttocatch put away his rival and won in 1:53.43 over a surface rated good. Cherokee Artist finished a length back in second and Indian Jones was another 2-1/2 lengths back in third.
 
Bred in Maryland by Dark Hollow Farm and Herringswell Stable., the 6-year-old gelding now has five stakes victories at his home track in a 365-day period for trainer Tim Keefe. In his previous start he finished a disappointing fourth in the General George Handicap (G2) after a troubled trip.
 
“I was glad he bounced back,” Russell said. “This is a bit of justice because I think with a good trip we win the General George.”
 
The winner upped his record to 10 wins in 32 starts with earnings of $463,190.
 
“He’s a very nice horse, obviously,” said Keefe. “He tries every time. It is great to have a horse like him.”
 
Keefe, who finished in fifth in the trainer standings during the meet with 16 victories, said his star would run next in the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) on May 18.
 
“He hasn’t missed a beat and works well in-between races,” added Keefe. “I just need to keep him fresh and happy.”
 
Eighttofasttocatch paid $2.40 as the prohibitive 1-5 betting favorite.

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