On Friday afternoon, Robb and Shepherd visited the winners’ circle with Crafty Lion ($21.80) and Bigdaddysgirl ($5). On Saturday’s card, the 57-year old Robb, best known for conditioning Little Bold John, teamed up with Shepherd and Polish Dance ($43) to take the opener then went 1-2 in the second as Patrick N Dylan ($7.60) nipped stablemate Mylilsecret.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Robb said. “Most of the winners have come off layoffs and have been freshened up.”
Shepherd, the 18-year old son of jockey Dave Shepherd, won six races from 10 mounts during the three-day stretch, also finishing first on Sunday with Pick up the Pieces ($10.60-fourth) and 50-1 shot Decent Exposure ($102.40-ninth). The six first place finishes put the Oklahoma native in a tie for the lead in the Laurel summer standings with Rosie Napravnik, Rosemary Homeister and Clinton Potts.
“Having a big weekend like this should make it a lot easier going to barns in the morning,” said Shepherd, who will have the weight allowance until March 2010. “Maryland is known for having successful bug riders. Here’s hoping we have another one.”
Nine Maryland-based riders have captured the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice, including Hall of Famers Chris McCarron (1974) and Kent Desormeaux (1989).