Snow Ridge got back on the winning track with a smashing 7 3/4 –length annihilation of the $200,000 Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico. Snow Ridge reaffirmed his place as one of the top sprinters in the country while covering the six furlongs in 1:10.06. Smile My Lord rallied from well back to take second, 1 ½ lengths better than Clever Gem.
Snow Ridge paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.60. Smile My Lord was good for $4.40 and $3.20, and Clever Gem returned $3.60 to show.
Bop broke alertly from the rail, and took a short lead while being tracked from the outside by Snow Ridge. The pair laid down honest fractions of :22.91 and :45.87. When they hit the turn, however, jockey Mike Smith pushed the button on Snow Ridge, and the 4-year-old son of Tabasco Cat out of the Woodman mare Snow Forest flew to the front and widened with each subsequent stride. The race was over from that point on.
Snow Ridge won for the fourth time in six starts this year. He swept three graded stakes sprints at Santa Anita, including the grade I San Carlos, before throwing in a clinker in the Carter Handicap (Gr. I) at Aqueduct. In his previous start to the Maryland Breeders' Cup, Snow Ridge finished first in the Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) on Kentucky Derby Day, but was disqualified when the stewards ruled that Smith's whip had struck runner-up D'Wildcat just before the finish line.
Snow Ridge runs for W. T. Young's Overbrook Farm, which also campaigned Tabasco Cat. He is conditioned by D. Wayne Lukas, and was bred in Kentucky by the Mt Brilliant Farm. Snow Ridge is now 10 for 21 lifetime and has earned better than $700,000. (Chart, Equibase