Comebacker Band Is Passing Takes Miami Mile

(From track report)
Band Is Passing, coming into the Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (IIIT) off a 5 ½-month layoff for his breeder/owner/trainer Stanley Ersoff, showed he was worth the wait by winning the $150,000 feature by two lengths.

The 6-year-old son of Pass the Line won the one mile turf race in 1:37 3/5, defeating the 3-to-5 favorite Pisces, who shipped in for the contest from Kentucky for trainer Ken McPeek. Irish-bred Doowaley, who up until this year raced in Italy, finished third, 1 ½ lengths behind Pisces.

"He's just a class horse," said Ersoff. "All he needs from us is good food, good water, and a moderate training schedule. He needed a rest after his last start (March 16 Equalize at Gulfstream). That wasn't a good one by his standards (fifth). The race before (Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup), he ran very well when he was second to Cetewayo going a mile-and-three-eighths. It was a hard race on him."

Ersoff said the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) was not a consideration.

"Actually, I could train him up to it if he got invited in," he said. "Right now, I'd say I'm thinking more about the Tropical Turf (on Dec. 7), which he won last year."

The early pace in the Miami Mile was set by Marquette, with Doowaley about a length behind, followed by Band Is Passing and Famous Chef.

Running down the backstretch, Band Is Passing ran outside the leaders, but going into the turn, jockey Cornelio Velasquez guided him to the hedge and seized the lead at the quarter pole.

Under steady urging, Band Is Passing powered down the lane to win convincingly. He was the second choice in the mutuels at 2-to-1 and paid $6.80 for the win.

In his last appearance at Calder, Band Is Passing won the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. III) on December 8. He has had only two starts between then and now, both at Gulfstream Park this winter. His record now stands at an impressive 28-12-7-3, with nine of those victories on the grass. Band Is Passing also won the Miami Mile in 2000.

(Chart, Equibase)

Most Popular Stories