Sunday, August 02, 2009


LAUREL, MD. 08-01-09---The Maltese Cross II’s Target Sighted beat four other Maryland-bred 3-year-olds in the $50,000 Humphrey S. Finney Stakes, contested through pouring rain and over the good turf on opening day of the summer meeting at Laurel Park.

Winthrop House, the overwhelming 1-5 favorite, led to the turn before suddenly yielding and finishing last.

Jonathan Joyce gave Target Sighted a patient, rail skimming ride on their way to victory in 1:45.28 for the 1-1/16th mile test. Joyce and Target Sighted did not leave the rail until a gaping hole appeared at the top of the lane, where they easily split all four rivals and outfinished Music City to win by a neck. Ham and Ernie rallied for third.

The winner paid $25.20 and set off a $98 exacta and a $357 triple.

“He settled right in from the gate,” Joyce said. “He wanted to settle too much at first but once I got him going he grabbed the bit, slowly relaxed for me. I started pressuring Luis (jockey Luis Garcia on the favorite) at about the half mile pole to the three-eighths. He did everything I asked.”

Frannie Campitelli trains the gelded son of Not For Love, who has won two of three career starts. He broke his maiden at Penn National in June after finishing fourth in his debut at Delaware Park in late May.

“This is our plan for most of the summer, this race,” Campitelli said. “He’s always trained like he’s going to be a nice horse.”

Rosemary Homeister, who moved into second place on the all-time win list for female riders during the recently completed Colonial Downs meet, teamed up with trainer Hamilton Smith for a pair of wins on the 10-race card. The duo visited the winners’ circle with Indy Song ($4.60-second) and Wachacha ($4.80-third) before a third place finish in the Finney.

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