Jolie's Halo edged closer to $1 million in earnings yesterday, winning the Fort McHenry Handicap at Laurel Race Course by 1 1/2 lengths over Favor Ben.
The 5-year-old son of Halo returned to the races after six months on the shelf, rewarding his backers who made him the even money favorite in the seven-horse field with a $4 win payoff.
However, he did not overly impress Laurel's leading jockey, Edgar Prado, who was riding him for the first time.
"I thought he'd win more easy," Prado said afterward. "The other horse [Favor Ben] is not a stakes horse, and we only beat him about a length."
But Bob Camac, who took over the training of the horse late last year after the animal had soured in his 4 year-old campaign, was pleased.
"He was pressed early by Root Boy, who made him run a half mile in 45 4/5 seconds," Camac said. "If he had gotten an easy lead, he would have won by more daylight."
After Jolie's Halo repulsed Root Boy's bid, he then held off Favor Ben's rally under Prado's steady right-handed whipping.
Larry Reynolds, aboard Favor Ben, lodged a foul claim against Prado for interference in the stretch, but it was disallowed by the stewards.
Jolie's Halo drifted out a couple of times in the stretch. Prado said the horse was running for the first time without a shadow roll, which might have precipitated the drifting, but Camac said it was probably because the horse was getting tired.
Jolie's Halo ran the mile on the grass in 1 minute, 35 2/5 seconds, the same time it took Double Booked to win the race a year ago.
The horse earned $45,000 and increased his total winnings to $922,840.
Earlier on the card, Prado won the Toddler Breeders' Cup Stakes with Haggles 'n Hassles.