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For Immediate Release


Corby Caiazzo feels no shame in saying he's a small-scale horse trainer. He works with about a dozen thoroughbreds for owner Stephen Sinatra on Berkley Farm in Harford County.



news on the acuscope and myopulseSinatra Racing Stables, Intellbio, and the Equiscope had a big day at the Jim Mckay Maryland Million yesterday. We are very proud of Admirals War Chest who won the $150,000 classic.

He works with about a dozen thoroughbreds for owner Stephen Sinatra on Berkley Farm in Harford County. And going into Saturday's Maryland Million at Laurel Park, the 43-year-old trainer never had won a stakes race.ects.

So there was some disbelief mixed with elation as he watched Admirals War Chest cling to a lead in the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic, holding off a furious charge from Bullheaded Boy, who just happens to be trained by seven-time Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher.

When Sinatra's wife screamed that Admirals War Chest was going to do it, Caiazzo thought: "The wire's not here yet."

But she was right. Admirals War Chest had just enough to hold on to the last bit of the huge cushion he had bought himself with his early burst.

"I'm going to stretch out, and then catch me if you can," jockey Taylor Hole said of his and Caiazzo's strategy.

Maryland Million to showcase older champions Not Abroad and Ben's Cat It made for a stirring main event to an exciting afternoon of racing. Maryland Million day is the signature card on Laurel Park's fall schedule, featuring 11 races for Maryland-sired thoroughbreds, seven carrying purses of $100,000 or more. The betting handle was up 37 percent, to $3.8 million, and attendance increased 5.5 percent, to 19,119.

It was also a day for the Maryland Jockey Club to show off $14 million worth of physical improvements to Laurel Park, including new bar and concessions areas, hundreds of new flat-screen televisions, and fresh coats of blue and white paint.

The Maryland Million win was a first for both Sinatra and Caiazzo, exactly the sort of local horsemen the event is meant to showcase.

Laurel Park set to show off $20 million in improvements at Maryland Million. The owner and trainer had a running debate about the best way to handle Admirals War Chest, a big, feisty horse whose early results didn't match his talent. Caiazzo wanted to teach the horse to run off the lead. But Sinatra kept telling him: "Speed kills."

At Penn National last month, Caiazzo finally sent the horse to an early lead. Lo and behold, Admirals War Chest won. Speed kills indeed.

So the strategy for the Classic was simple: Grab as big a lead as possible and dare the field to run down Admirals War Chest.

Sinatra, who also bred the horse, felt vindicated by the means of victory. "All the jocks were fighting with him, trying to get him to race the traditional way, but you saw what he did," he said. news on the acuscope and myopulse

Admirals War Chest paid $11.40 on a $2 bet to win, $6.40 to place and $4.20 to show. Bullheaded Boy ($5.40, $3.20) finished second by a neck, and I'm Mr. Blue ($4) was third.

The biggest upset of the day came earlier in the $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint, where Jack's in the Deck nosed out 3-5 favorite Ben's Cat at the wire.

Jockey Forest Boyce could not suppress an enormous grin as she steered Jack's in the Deck to the winner's circle. Like most of the top riders in Maryland, she had been on the short end of several showdowns with Ben's Cat.

"That horse has beaten so many times, just like this," shouted Boyce, a Garrison Forest graduate.

At age 6, Jack's in the Deck is a whippersnapper compared with the 9-year-old Ben's Cat, who has won 30 races for his 82-year-old owner and trainer, King Leatherbury. But trainer Robin Graham said her horse battled through numerous health woes on the way to his career-defining victory in Saturday's 6-furlong sprint.

"Just various things, things that took a lot of time" to heal, she said. "But he's been a nice horse all along. He's just had bad luck."

Jack's in the Deck and Ben's Cat staged the best stretch duel of the day. Had the race been a stride longer, Leatherbury's horse might have bobbed his head in front.

"It was intense out there," Boyce said. "We just kept passing each other." The win aboard Jack's in the Deck was one of three in a row for Boyce.

Leatherbury praised Jack's in the Deck for a "super race."

"They fought it out and they bested us," said the recent National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame inductee.

In the $125,000 Maryland Million Turf, the gelding Phlash Phelps won his fourth straight race, stamping his resume as the state's current star of the grass. He's another horse who struggled to fulfill his promise because of nagging injuries.

But trainer Rodney Jenkins said Phlash Phelps gained a new focus after he was gelded. "Watching him now, he's just beautiful," Jenkins said. "He's an athlete."

The prerace favorite faced several aggressive challenges down the stretch but reasserted himself each time. The win was also a milestone for young jockey Victor Carrasco, who recently returned from a hand injury that had disrupted his 2015 campaign. The victory was his first since he returned to the track.

"It feels awesome," he said.

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