Surprising Pocket Patch pockets a win in Clark Stakes at Pimlico

Walsh, Potvin in front heading into NOOD regatta finale

May 01, 2011|By Sports Digest

Pimlico Race Course

Surprising Pocket Patch pockets a win at Clark Stakes

Charles McGill's Pocket Patch was the surprise winner of Saturday's feature at Pimlico Race Course, the $75,000 Henry S. Clark Stakes. Returning to the races after a six-month absence, the Flint Stites trainee broke alertly in the one-mile test, which was contested over the firm turf. With Jonathan Joyce at the controls, the Partner's Hero offspring tracked pace-setter Crimson Comic down the backstretch, forged to the lead heading into the turn and galloped home safely from there. Pocket Patch covered the distance in 1 minute, 40.04 seconds and won by 31/2 lengths. Safety Valve rallied to take second and Lonely Whistle finished third. The winner paid $22.40, the exacta returned $178.40 and the trifecta came back a whopping $2,001 with betting favorites Baletti and Ben's Cat finishing fourth and fifth. The last time Pocket Patch saw action was in the Maryland Million Turf under Joyce, where he was an impressive winner at odds of 6-1. "He responded well after the break," trainer Flint Stites said. "He ran just a huge race in the Maryland Million and needed time. By the time it was ready to come back, the turf was over so we went ahead and gave him the winter off. He has really matured. A couple years ago, he would have never been able to come off a layoff and performed like this." Stites and Joyce combined for three wins last week, also reaching the winner's circle in Thursday's opener (Unwavering Hope, $6.60) and Friday's fifth race (Calmafterthestorm, $40.20). Stites said he would consult with McGill to determine whether to run Pocket Patch in the $200,000 Dixie Stakes (Grade 2) on the Preakness undercard in three weeks. Saturday's score upped the six-year-old gelding's record to five victories and five second place finishes in 21 starts with earnings of $237,860. The upset, and another in the seventh race by 30-1 long shot Simple Songs, helped trigger a $26,295.88 carryover in the 50-cent Pimlico Pick 5. At the beginning of the spring meet, Pimlico officials scrapped the Pick 6 in favor of a Pick 5 (races 5-9), with a reduced takeout of 18 percent.

NOOD regatta

Walsh, Potvin out front heading into today's finale

After two days of racing in the the Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One-Design Regatta just offshore of Annapolis, co-skippers Tom Walsh and John Potvin of the Catalina 27 boat class have commanded a 13-point lead in the seven-boat fleet. The sailing duo from Deale have co-skippered their boat, SLAM Duck, to a first-place finish in all seven of their races this weekend — the only crew to do so. The pair will continue racing today, where they will look to claim the Catalina 27 class trophy. Others in the hunt within the same fleet include Annapolis' Ross Arnett and defending class champion John Anderson of Pasadena. The regatta will conclude today with races starting at 11 a.m. and continuing until 2:30 p.m., when an overall winner will be determined.

Towson football

In return, QB Athens leads Gold to 21-16 win in Tiger Bowl

Playing in his first competitive game in 18 months, Towson quarterback Peter Athens completed 11 of 22 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns as the Gold Team edged the Black Team, 21-16, in the Tiger Bowl at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Athens, who started six games as a first-year freshman in 2009, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury midway through the season. He missed the balance of the 2009 season and the entire 2010 campaign while recovering. Athens also caught a 32-yard pass on a trick play when wide receiver Tom Ryan shifted to quarterback.

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