Mike Maker, trainer of Field Pass and Megacity
Trainer Mike Maker runners Field Pass and Megacity hit the wire at Lone Star Park Saturday in a 1-2 finish with Megacity in front, only to have a disqualification place Field Pass as the victor in the $300,000 Texas Turf Classic.
Starting back in the 1 1/8-mile turf event after being claimed by Maker in May at Churchill Downs for $80,000, Michael Dubb-owned Megacity led the field from gate to wire. As Megacity entered the stretch, Field Pass was in hot pursuit after racing in third through six furlongs.
With a sixteenth to run, Megacity came outward into the path of his stablemate, causing the Field Pass, piloted by Javier Castellano to alter course. Closer to the wire, under vigorous right-handed urging from jockey Joe Rocco Jr., Megacity came outward for a second time and made contact with Field Pass in deep stretch before crossing the finish line a neck in front. Time was 1:47.61 on turf rated as firm.
After a stewards’ inquiry and a rider objection lodged by Castellano, the stewards disqualified Megacity from first to second place behind Field Pass.
“I am a little disappointed to have to claim foul in this situation, but I am glad that it worked out in our favor to get the win,” Castellano said. “I don’t ever want to punish the best horse in the race by having it disqualified, but I felt that my horse was bothered enough by the Megacity to have to claim foul against him.”
With the win, the Three Diamonds Farm-owned Field Pass became Thoroughbred racing’s newest millionaire with $1,142,696 in career earnings from 27 starts. The $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Eastern Fall Yearling sale graduate earned $177,228 for the victory in Grand Prairie, Texas, to close out the four turf scheduled on the Summer Turf Festival card at Lone Star.
“Both horses ran really well today in Texas,” Maker said. “It will depend on how they both come out of this race before we discuss with the owners exactly where we will point towards next. It is possible we might look at the Arlington Million at Churchill for Field Pass as his next target.”
Through disqualification, Megacity was placed second, with Karl Broberg-trained U S Navy Cross rallying from last of six to finish third. As the post-time favorite, Field Pass returned $3.60 for the win.
Field Pass has a 9-3-5 record from 27 career starts. He is a 5-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid out of the Runaway Groom mare Only Me and was bred in Maryland by Mark Brown Grier.
The Turf Festival’s nine-race card saw a large attendance growth from last year’s event with 6,769 patrons producing an impressive on-track handle of $578,025, track officials said.
There was no interstate simulcasting after Texas Racing Commission ordered Lone Star Park to shut down its interstate simulcast signal starting July 1, saying the state could not comply with the newly created Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. States that do not comply with the Authority are unable to conduct interstate simulcasting.