Seefeldt Captures Final 'Lady Legends' Event
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Zuerstgold with Andrea Seefeldt Knight wins the 2014 Lady Legends for the Cure.
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Andrea Seefeldt won her first "Lady Legends for the Cure" race aboard James Macko's Zuerstgold at Pimlico Race Course May 16 (VIDEO).

It was the fifth and final year for the Lady Legends, which brings together retired female jockeys to compete in a race that offers pari-mutuel wagering. It was started in conjunction with a breast cancer awareness event the day before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

This year it was held in conjunction with "The Ultimate Girls Day Out," a partnership between Pimlico, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Baltimore-based Suited To Succeed in a day supporting issues important to women.

Zuerstgold, trained by Francis Campitelli, was reserved in seventh early in a field of eight, rallied wide on the final turn, and collared Graced, ridden by Stacie Clark-Rogers, by a neck. Graced had taken over from the inside in the stretch and appeared home free, but Clark-Rogers appeared to misjudge the finish line and accidently eased him up about 40 yards before the finish.

"He was awesome and did nothing wrong," Clark-Rodgers said after the race. "Everything was going great and I just screwed up and misjudged the wire. It has been a while since I hit the wire first.

"It was fun for all the connections. We always have a lot of fun every year. It's kind of sad it's not happening anymore."

Big Blue Talent and rider Tami Purcell finished third, with favored Big Lute (Sharon Gunther) fourth. The winner paid $15.20 and completed six furlongs on a sloppy, sealed surface in 1:12.70.

The race was an allowance test with non-winners-of-a-race-other-than conditions. The purse was $52,000.

The race had special meaning for Seefeldt, who retired in 1994 with 604 wins and almost $8 million in earnings. Her sister-in-law, Danica Roki Seefeldt, is battling cancer.

"I just found out yesterday that she went for a lumpectomy, so this is for her," Seefeldt said. "I saw the overnight and I was in the one-hole and it was sloppy. I knew I wanted to close with the horse, but that's really hard to do, to let the other ones go and be back there and be in traffic.

"If you've ever been on the highway with two semi trucks on either side of you, it's really hard to make yourself go up in there."

Retired jockeys Cheryl White, Patricia Cooksey, and Abigail Fuller also competed in the Lady Legends race as well as Kreidel Kaymarie.

Seefeldt, the first woman to win the Pennsylvania Derby (in 1991 with Robert Meyerhoff's Valley Crossing, trained by the late Richard Small) and a top rider in Maryland for years, finished second twice in earlier editions of the Lady Legends behind Gwen Jocson and Mary Wiley-Wagner. The other winners of the event are Mary Russ-Tortora and Jennifer Rowland-Small.

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