Russell, Kobiskie win titles for Laurel Park winter meeting

Eighttofasttocatch captures $75K Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes to close season

March 27, 2011|By Sports Digest

Et cetera

Russell, Kobiskie win titles for Laurel Park winter meeting

The 12-week Laurel Park winter meeting ended Saturday with Sheldon Russell and Dane Kobiskie winning individual titles. Russell topped the rider standings with 45 first-place finishes, 13 more than Forest Boyce. A top 10 rider in Maryland since 2007, the 23-year-old had 14 multiple-win days during the meet, including a match of his career high with five victories March 24. Russell, who also took the 2008 Laurel fall meet, won races for 14 trainers. The 47-day stand began at the Central Maryland track Jan.1. Two live cards were canceled because of inclement weather. Kobiskie won the training title with 19 victories in 58 starts, an impressive 32.8percent. The former rider conditioned seven runners who won multiple races during the meet, including That's No Bargain, who won four races for the barn, and Shoe Freak Marlene, who captured three of five races during a 37-day period after being claimed. Tim Keefe finished in second place with 16 wins from 57 runners, including a pair of stakes victories by Red's Round Table.

More Laurel Park: Sylvia Heft's Eighttofasttocatch battled shoulder-to-shoulder with Marilyn's Guy through the stretch before edging clear to win the closing day feature, the $75,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes. Ridden by Sheldon Russell, Eighttofasttocatch covered the nine-furlong distance in 1 minute, 50.64 seconds and won by a half-length. The win was the first in a stakes by the 5-year-old gelding. It was his second consecutive win since Keefe decided to add blinkers on the son of Not For Love, who captured an allowance race here last month by 93/4 lengths and registered a career-best 98 Beyer Speed Figure. "The last time he ran we took the blinkers off and the idea was to try and get him to relax," Russell said. "He relaxed nicely last time. Tim told me try and get him to relax again and use some of that early speed later in the race. He is a completely different horse He is able to relax and kick in when he needs to." "I have always loved him," Keefe said. "He just got too worked up and did too much too early and couldn't finish. We took our time with him and changed this up in the morning which also really helped. I wasn't sure he was going to get the mile and an eighth distance today but Sheldon did a marvelous job."

Eighttofasttocatch paid $13. He topped a $43.40 exacta over Marilyn's Guy. Multiple graded stakes winner No Advantage completed the triple, which paid $87.80. The winner upped his record to six wins in 23 starts with earnings of $189,940.

College baseball: No. 3 Virginia scored three unearned runs in the eighth inning to spoil a splendid outing by Maryland pitcher David Carroll, and the Cavaliers beat the Terps (11-12, 1-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), in the first game of a doubleheader, 4-2. Carroll kept Virginia (23-2, 7-1) scoreless for six innings before allowing a run in the seventh. The Terps recorded the first two outs in the eighth inning on nice plays by third baseman Tomo Delp, but errors by shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez and Delp opened the door for Virginia.

College softball: Sophomore Lexi Carroll's four home runs led Maryland to two wins at Virginia, 13-0 and 7-0. Senior Kerry Hickey, the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week, started the first game in the circle for the Terps (22-9, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who are riding a 13-game winning streak. She did not allow the Cavaliers a hit until the bottom of the fourt hand gave up just two in her five innings of work.

College swimming and diving: Freshman Taylor Kitayama led the Johns Hopkins women's team with a school-record-tying seven All-America honors at the NCAA championships as the Blue Jays took eighth place, the school's highest finish since 2004. The men's team earned ninth place, finishing in the top 10 at the championships for the 23rd time under coach George Kennedy and the 38th time overall.

—From Sun staff and news services

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