Lisa Jacquin rode For The Moment to a faultless tiebreaker victory based on elapsed time in the Johnnie Walker Grand Prix of Baltimore, the premier event of the $130,000 Baltimore Jumping Classic, held last night at the Arena.
Jacquin's .109-second victory came immediately after Anne Kursinski, who had the other clear round among four jump-off finalists, had finished in 34.351 seconds aboard Starman.
"I looked at my groom [Maggie Mulligan] and said, 'I can't beat that,' " Jacquin said, just before she and For The Moment, a 16-year-old American thoroughbred, became the first repeat winners in the 10-year Baltimore event.
Jacquin, Kursinski, Margie Goldstein and George Lindemann Jr. advanced to the jump-off with faultless rounds in the 41-horse finals.
"This feels great," said Jacquin, 28, who was a University of Southern California political-science major when she and For The Moment won here in 1987. "And this time, I don't have to run home to go to school."
The victory earned her $15,000 of the $50,000 Grand Prix prize. Kursinski's second place was worth $11,000. Goldstein won $6,500 and Lindemann $4,000.
For The Moment, a consistent place horse known as Hitch-N-Celebrate in his racing days on the smaller-track circuit, and Jacquin were members of the 1988 U.S. Olympic team that won the silver medal. They also won the silver at the 1987 Pan American Games and have won close to 20 Grand Prix jumping events.
"He jumps very well indoors, even on a very difficult course like this. He jumps very well outdoors," said Jacquin. "I've owned him for 10 years, and he's just a wonderful horse."
Jacquin purchased For The Moment in 1980 and "saved him from dog food," she said, jokingly, after he had run in a series of claims races and had been bought by a Connecticut woman.
"He had never jumped, but you can tell potential," said Jacquin, who plans to enter For The Moment in several upcoming major events, including the President's Cup. "And only a very special group of horses gets to this level.
"He's very consistent -- he pays his way all of the time."
The one Maryland rider to compete in last night's finals was Kim Williams of Marriotsville, who finished far back with 40 faults and 2.5-seconds penalty time aboard the French-bred Karina.