By Tod Marks
Our Bab takes Rouse; Garner and Young sweep both ends of steeplechase double-header
Leipers Fork Steeplechasers’ Our Bab, the least experienced runner in the field of seven, made a wide sweeping move turning for home and opened up through the lane to score by three lengths in the featured $100,000 Randolph D. Rouse stakes for fillies and mares. For the four-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Walk In The Park, it was a monumental start to a career that began just last month with a sixth-place finish in a maiden special weights contest at Colonial Downs.
The 2 1/4-mile race began with Mimi Voss’ Bella Coola, ridden by Barry Foley, scooting off to an uncontested seven-length advantage heading up the backside in the first of two loops over the Colonial Downs turf course.
Heading up the backside the second time, Bella Coola maintained her lead as the field began to bunch up. The International Venture’s Magical Charm, under Bernie Dalton, who had been stalking in second, inched up to challenge the leader, while Carrington Holdings’ Cainudothetwist and Graham Watters made an even bigger move on the inside.
As Bella Coola tired, Magical Charm snatched the lead, but was quickly confronted by Cainyoudothetwist and Our Bab, who revved up on the outside under Tom Garner.
Turning for home it was a two-horse race, with Our Bab on the outside and Cainudothetwist on the inside. Maintaining a slight advantage, Our Bab cut toward the rail with about a sixteenth of a mile to go, and was fully extended to win by about three lengths. Cainudothetwist was clearly second best, with Magical Charm holding for third.
Our Bab’s win was the second of the day for both trainer Leslie Young and jockey Tom Garner, who took the opener with Cause For Pardon. For trainer Young, it was her NSA-leading 24th win this season. And for Garner, it was his 11th score of the year.
Cause for Pardon makes it look easy in $35,000 handicap
Ballybristol Farm’s seven-year-old son of Creative Cause followed up his maiden score at the Radnor Hunt Races in May with a runaway victory in today’s handicap for horses rated at 115 or less at Colonial Downs.
Ridden patiently by Tom Garner for leading trainer Leslie Young, Cause For Pardon sat off the pace for most of the 2 1/4 miles before unleashing a lightening quick move in the field of six entering the stretch on the last loop.
Until that time, Clarke Ohrstrom’s Mr. Bridger had pretty much controlled the pace from the drop of the flag, fending off challenges at one time or another from Atlantic Friends Racing’s Peat Moss, Sonny Via’s Welshman, and Upland Flats Racing’s Pleasecallmeback.
Entering the lane for the race to the wire, Mr. Bridger, under Jamie Bargary, still looked strong, but Cause For Pardon mounted a rally on the outside, surging quickly to the lead, and extending that advantage to more than 10 lengths at the wire. Welshman, ridden by Graham Watters, was second, while Mr. Bridger was third.
For Cause For Pardon, it was his fourth top-two finish in four 2022 starts.
The replay of both races can be watched here: https://youtu.be/uj-wVpSBEzg