LAUREL -- Anacreontic drove to victory in the Heavenly Cause Stakes at Laurel Race Course, catching two speedier fillies in the final yards.
The filly waited off a quick early pace set by Luramore, and after Suspect Terrain overhauled her in the final sixteenth-mile, Anacreontic was there to pass them both.
"Mr. Cartwright said there were two horses with speed in the race and to just wait behind them," said Joe Rocco, who rode Anacreontic. "I got her out on the turn and she just kept running."
Anacreontic won by nearly a length over Suspect Terrain, with Luramore finishing a tired third.
Ron Cartwright trains Anacreontic, whose sister, Banner Hit, won the Heavenly Cause under Kent Desormeaux in 1988. Banner Hit, the leading Maryland-bred 2-year-old filly that year, was owned by Eric Wirth. Yesterday, Eric and Al Wirth, Eric's brother, drove from Long Island, N.Y., to watch Anacreontic, a daughter of Oh Say and Escape Artist.
"She's named for an English drinking song, 'Anacreon in Heaven,' " said Al Wirth. "It's sung to the music of 'The Star Spangled Banner.' Since her sire is Oh Say, that's how we got the name."
Anacreontic paid $7.20 to win as third choice in a field of five. She completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1 minute, 18 3/5 seconds over a fast track.
Anacreontic finished sixth in the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship two weeks earlier, a 1 1/16-mile race won by Star Minister. "I still think she'll be able to win going longer," Cartwright said. "I was disappointed in the way she ran last time."