"I wasn't sure, I thought it was very close," said winning jockey Feargal Lynch of the photo finish.
"Mr. Brown said, 'Listen, he’s not going to make up six lengths' but luckily there was enough pace and they came back to us," he added. "When he switched leads and I got him to the outside and there was no kickback, he got it rolling."
Out of the gate in the about 1 1/16 mile race for 3-year-olds, High Roller and Hashtag Alex jumped out for the early lead. Twisted Tom was fourth, just off the pacesetters, and the 3-5 favorite O Dionysus raced at the back of the seven-horse field. High Roller set fractions of :24.11 and :48.97 through the first half mile on a track rated fast.
Going into the second turn, O Dionysus and jockey Jevian Toledo made a move to circle the field, but Dharmaster also went with the favorite and got a head in front with six furlongs going in 1:14.08. Into the stretch, O Dionysus battled with Dharmaster and seemed in the clear with a half-length advantage before being caught at the wire by a fast-closing Twisted Tom, who flew down the four path in the stretch. The Chad Brown trainee stopped the clock in 1:45.68.
Dharmaster was another half length back in third and was 3 1/4 lengths ahead of High Roller in fourth.
Off at 4-1, Twisted Tom returned $10.20, $3.60, and $3 across the board.
"I was very pleased with his performance," Brown said. "It was also a great ride. He never gave up on him."
Bred in New York by Dr. William Wilmot and Dr. Joan Taylor, the gelded son of Creative Cause —Tiffany Twisted, by Thunder Gulch, failed to sell twice at auction as a yearling. He now has three wins from five starts and earnings of $134,040 and entered Saturday's race off a half-length score in a $75,000 allowance optional claiming race at Aqueduct Racetrack Jan. 28.
"Well, we trained her mother (Just Jenda) and I've had so much luck with Proud Citizens," trainer Larry Jones said of the filly who he bred with his wife Cindy and owns with Cindy and Fox Hill Farm. "The Proud Citizen has come through in her and she has the heart of her mother, hopefully we got our hands on a good one.
"We didn’t get to bring her into this horse the way we wanted to," he added. "We came out of New Orleans and we’ve been locked in the barn all week. This may be the first race I’ve ever won coming out of a shedrow. It just goes to show how good she is. My training has nothing to do with it."
Jones said that the filly will train up to the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico Race Course May 19.
In the one-mile race, Jenda's Agenda and jockey Gabriel Saez raced just off Forever Liesl, who set the pace for the first quarter mile going in :24.70. Jenda's Agenda then moved to the inside of the four-horse field, which had four scratches, and never looked back. Clocking fractions of 48.64 for a half mile and 1:13.61 for six furlongs, Jenda's Agenda finished up the mile in 1:38.01 two lengths in front of Forever Liesl.
Off at 2-5, the winner returned $2.80, $2.10, and $2.10 across the board.
Bred in Kentucky, Jenda's Agenda is out of the multiple graded stakes winner Just Jenda, who the Joneses also trained and raced. With her perfect record, the filly now has earnings of $110,000. Her other two wins came at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, where she broke her maiden with a 6 1/4-length score Jan. 7.