LAUREL, MD. 12-17-11---James A. Riccio’s King and Crusader made his first foray into his native state a winning one when he upset eight other Maryland-bred 2-year-olds in the $75,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship.

Rick Dutrow trains the son of Lion Heart, who was ridden for the first time today by Victor Santiago. They stole off to an uncontested lead, surrendered the front to even money favorite Glib in mid-stretch, then reclaimed the lead nearing the wire to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:32.09 for the 7-1/2 furlong distance. Jack’s In the Deck finished third.

King and Crusader, who was just one of four heading into the race, paid $34.60 and topped a $106.80 exacta and $445.40 trifecta.

Santiago said, “The assistant trainer told me now he was going from three-quarters to seven eighths so you might be in front, be second, be third,” said Santiago, who recently re-located to Maryland from the New York-New Jersey circuit. “He broke sharp and I settled him down, made a little slow pace. My horse was not cooperating with me, he was lugging in a little bit. I had to grab the reins. As soon as I hit him he straightened up and came back again. >From there on, it was ride him to the wire.”

Dutrow’s brother, Tony won the 2000 Maryland Juvenile Championship with Global Gait.