Largent rallies late to capture Bert Allen for second stakes win

October 10, 2020

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LAUREL, Md. – Twin Creeks Racing Stables and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ stakes winner Largent saved ground all the way around, scooted through an opening along the rail and dueled with 60-1 longshot Tolaga Bay through the stretch to emerge by a neck in Friday’s $75,000 Bert Allen at Laurel Park.

The 22nd running of the 1 1/16-mile Bert Allen for 3-year-olds and up was among five turf stakes restricted to Virginia-bred/sired horses on Friday’s nine-race program, preceded by the $75,000 M. Tyson Gilpin, $75,000 Brookmeade and $75,000 Jamestown and followed by the $75,000 Punch Line.

With four-time Maryland riding champion Trevor McCarthy aboard for seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, Largent ($2.10) completed the distance in 1:42.06 over a firm All Along turf course layout for his fifth win from seven career starts and second in a stakes.

Tolaga Bay was a stubborn second, a length ahead of Kendama in third. They were followed by Great Camanoe, Ismusbemyluckyday, Divine Interventio and River Deep.

“I had a really good break and I knew [Tolaga Bay] had some speed, as well, and they were going to want to go out there,” McCarthy said. “Todd said he didn’t have to be on the lead today and his race at Colonial he seemed to run pretty good off the pace. Plan B was to go to the lead and Plan A was to kind of get him to settle, and it worked out nice.”

Largent tracked Great Camanoe through a quarter-mile in 23.58 seconds before settling into third as River Deep picked up the chase in second after a half in 47.94. McCarthy was still unhurried in third when Kendama made his move to get into contention following six furlongs in 1:11.93, biding his time to wait for an opening.

Down the backside they tried to slow the pace down and I said, ‘I they’re going to go this slow, I have to make them work for it.’ That’s when I kind of went up on the inside there and made those guys kick on,” McCarthy said. “I just sat chilly and tried not to panic on him. He was the best horse in the race. That day at Colonial he seemed like he could really shoot through a seam when there was one, so I just tried not to really get pressured and get panicked and take it as the race came up. He likes to fight this horse. I have to give a huge credit to [Tolaga Bay] who really put up a good race. He does everything you want him to. I’m just really happy.”

McCarthy got his chance once straightened for home and set down Largent for a drive up the inside as Jevian Toledo and Tolaga Bay dug in on his outside. The top two horses gained separation from their rivals and Largent ultimately found more approaching the wire to get his second stakes win in three starts following the one-mile Edward P. Evans, also against Virginia-breds, July 29 at Colonial.

“[Great Camanoe] was kind of out the whole way and kind of wanting to bait me through there and I knew [River Deep] would kind of run out of gas and I was just starting to make my way out until Toledo saw me starting to make a move on the inside and put the pressure on the inside,” McCarthy said. “I just kept telling myself to wait and something’s going to open, and sure enough it did.”

Press Release

Photo: Largent with Jockey Trevor McCarthy up. Credit: Maryland Jockey Club

Very well done piece by The King, John Stettin…

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