BALTIMORE – Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s homebred Takeover Target rallied from last to first with a determined stretch run to reel in Ring Weekend and win the 115th running of the $250,000 Longines Dixie (G2) by a neck Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.
It was the third career graded-stakes win for the 4-year-old Harlan’s Holiday colt and second stakes victory of the day for jockey Joel Rosario, who also captured the $100,000 The Very One with Lady Shipman.
Takeover Target ($9) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.76 over a turf course rated good. Ring Weekend stayed up for second, a half-length in front of 2-1 favorite Grand Arch. Laurel Park-based Captain Dixie, a 14-1 long shot, was a head back in fourth.
First run in 1870, the Dixie was the first win from four 2016 starts for Takeover Target, who won three of six races last year including the Hill Prince (G3) and Hall of Fame (G2).
Longines Dixie Stakes Quotes
Dermot Megner, Assistant to Winning Trainer Chad Brown (Takeover Target): “It was a great performance and a great ride and a great stretch run. We’re really proud of him.”
Winning Jockey Joel Rosario (Takeover Target): “We got a good start and we had a good position. The horse in front of me started to stop and I had to take hold because there was another horse coming up outside of me. He got right back in stride though. He is always close and I knew that he would be today. The turf is fine, just wet from the rain. He had a pretty good trip.”
Trainer Graham Motion (Ring Weekend, 2nd): “He ran great. He just was a little keen and got bumped going into the first turn, which didn’t help him. I couldn’t be happier.
“He had a foot abscess. It’s pretty cool to see him come back like this. He’s had a tough road.”
Jockey John Velazquez (Ring Weekend, 2nd): “He ran a great race. He had a long time off.”
Jockey Luis Saez (Grand Arch, 3rd): “He had no excuses. We had a fine trip.”
Pimlico Race Course