Jockey Edgar Prado slipped through along the rail and got up in the final strides with Sondra and Howard Bender's 3-year-old colt, Dixie Power, yesterday and defeated Cloud's Forty Four by a half-length in the $75,000 Deputed Testamony Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
"I saw a hole and was hoping that it would stay open for me," Prado said. "My horse was really trying and running hard in the stretch."
Dixie Power came from 13 lengths off the pace to overhaul the early leaders, running the nine furlongs in 1 minute, 52 2/5 seconds, 3 3/5 seconds off the stakes record of 1:48 4/5 set in 1989 by Northern Wolf.
It was the second stakes victory in two weeks for the Benders and their trainer Larry Murray, who also race Secret Odds, winner of the $156,025 Maryland Budweiser Breeders' Cup Handicap on Preakness Day.
Dixie Power, who had failed in two previous stakes attempts, wore blinkers yesterday for the first time. The horse is closely related to Secret Odds. He is a son of Secret Odds' multiple stakes-winning half sister, Clever Power, who included the Grade III Morven Stakes at the Meadowlands among her victories.
Secret Odds is the 122-pound high weight for Saturday's Housebuster Handicap. Earlier in the meet he also won the Fire Plug Stakes at Pimlico.
Prado now trails Mark Johnston by one in the number of 1994 Maryland stakes wins. Johnston has seven stakes victories compared to six for Prado and Mario Pino, who was aboard Deputed Testamony runner-up Cloud's Forty Four.
Earlier on yesterday's card, the 5-year-old maiden, Alycal, dropped dead of an apparent heart attack during the third race. The horse fell, landing on the foot of his rider, Andrea Seefeldt. Seefeldt was not seriously injured, but did not ride her remaining mounts.