Under the finish line in 1:09.70, with Cammy’s Choice fully extended along the fence and Access Fee surging down the middle of the racetrack, the decision had to be determined by the photo finish camera.
“I thought I won it,” said Pimentel, riding for trainer Ed Lehman. “I saw the opening and went for it. I saw the horse to beat outside of me so I wanted to get the jump on him (Garcia).”
“I have never been involved in a dead heat for the win ever,” said Garcia, riding for Larry Murray. “I thought I won, but you have to leave it up to the placing judges.”
Access Fee had won three of her previous four races at Laurel, including the What A Summer Stakes in January but was a dull sixth in the Grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap in her last start.
“It was a great effort because she didn’t make the lead,” said Murray. “They went 21 and change (first quarter) so for her to still be running at the end was impressive.”