Trained by Frank Brothers for owners John T.L. Jones Jr. and Bill Jones, Big Glen won for the fourth time in five tries on the Turfway Polytrack. In his only loss over the surface, he was compromised by a rough race last time out in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, finishing fourth.
“He had a good trip (this time)," Brothers said. "He’s been a pretty unlucky colt in his last three or four races. He just hasn’t had the best of trips. Today he had a very good trip and showed guts to get there."
Douglas rode Big Glen for the first time in the Rushaway. Big Glen had some equipment trouble heading for the starting gate when his saddle slipped. He had to return to the paddock to have the problem fixed.
Brothers said Big Glen is not Triple Crown nominated.
Miner's Claim, the 19-10 favorite making his first start since Nov. 2 in the 1 1/16-mile Rushaway, was able to carve an easy pace under jockey Patrick Husbands while being pressed by 36-1 outsider Cape of Storms. Fractions were light — :24.66, :49.12 and 1:13.68 — as Miner's Claim led into the stretch. Cape of Storms got the lead briefly in upper stretch but Miner's Claim fought back gallantly to regain the advantage.
Big Glen stalked the leaders in mid-pack while racing well off the rail down the backstretch. He split horses on the final turn while moving into contention on his own, then ducked down to the inside at the head of the lane to begin a relentless pursuit of the leaders. The chestnut son of Cactus Ridge had room inside of Miner's Claim and reached even terms leaving the furlong pole. Big Glen gained a short advantage while under strong urging in the final sixteenth of a mile and held it through the wire. Icabad Crane, never far back with jockey Edgar Prado, finished third, three lengths farther back. The final time was 1:44.55.
"He’s getting better with every race," Douglas said. "I watched his races and noticed that when he gets in front, he tries to pull himself up a little bit, so I took my time. So when I made my move, I tried to time it just right, and at the sixteenth pole I saw (Miner’s Claim) was going to come back, so I think we timed it perfectly.”
Big Glen, who carried top weight of 121 pounds, earned $59,520 for his fourth lifetime win in six starts, nearly doubling his bankroll to $123,482. The colt won the WEBN Stakes in closing fashion at Turfway in February prior to his rough run in the Battaglia. He finished 9 1/4 lengths behind the victorious filly Absolutely Cindy in that race after being steadied approaching the quarter pole and never recovering.
Bred in Kentucky by John T.L. Jones Jr., Bill Heiligbrodt, Richard Taylor, et al, Big Glen was a $10,000 Keeneland yearling sale in September 2006. The colt is out of the Unaccounted For mare Zamba Canuta.
Sent off as the third choice in the field of nine, Big Glen paid $8.40, $4.20 and $2.80.
Miner's Claim, who won both of his starts as a juvenile for Woodbine-based trainer Mark Casse, returned $3.60 and $2.60 and rounded out a $2 exacta worth $41.20.
"He hadn’t run in six months and these other horses have been running," Casse said. "He tried to come back on (Big Glen). He was game. It wasn’t really his running style (to be on the lead), but we wanted to get a good race into him. We weren’t going to take any prisoners.”
Second choice Icabad Crane, a New York-bred son of Jump Start who was also previously undefeated in his two prior starts, returned $3.80 to show.
“I was a little disappointed because I thought he had dead aim on them turning into the stretch," trainer Graham Motion said.
Cape of Storms, Targe, Tejanos Eliminator, My Sea of Fire, Acting Out and Holidaze completed the order.