Owner Maggi Moss recorded her first of two wins at Churchill Downs this Derby weekend when jockey Garrett Gomez piloted So Many Ways to victory in the seven-furlong Eight Belles Stakes (gr. III) May 3. After a clean and even break on the fast main track, Chortle, on the inside, set the pace into the turn, with Guadalupe High stalking on the outside, and Blueeyesintherein and Fusaichiswonderful battling in third and fourth. So Many Ways was nicely positioned in sixth as they finished the first quarter in 22.17. The field stayed tightly grouped making the turn before opening up into the lane. Into the final furlong they battled seven wide before So Many Ways made her move on the outside, pulling away from Fusaichiswonderful on the inside for a half-length win in 1.22.84. Irish Lute finished third another half-length behind with Calistoga crossing the finish in fourth.
Moss is no stranger to the winner’s circle. An attorney from Iowa, she is a multiple graded stakes-winning owner ranked in the top 10 by wins since 2005. So Many Ways went out for trainer Tom Amoss for the first time in the Eight Belles, having previously been trained by Tony Dutrow. According to Amoss, “We knew the style she likes to run, which is to come from off the pace and come around horses. Garrett was trapped for a long time. When he got outside, she did some running. It worked to our advantage and turned out well.” He also credited the work of the filly’s previous trainer: “I just picked up where Tony Dutrow left off…He told me what to do today, and it made all the difference.”
Commenting on the ride, Gomez added, “I was behind the speed on the backside, and I waited my turn. On the turn I got into a little pocket, so I eased out. Tom (Amoss) told me to get her outside and I did. Then I asked her and she gave it to me. She’s a little bit of a filly, but she’s got a big heart.”
The Eight Belles gives Pennsylvania-bred So Many Ways her third graded stakes win after taking the Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) and the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga last summer. The win added $101,048 to her earnings, now totaling $424,348, and brings her race record to 4-0-1 from six starts. By Sightseeing out of the Dehere mare, Happy Scene, So Many Ways was bred by John R. Penn and John C. Penn and purchased by Moss as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic Eastern fall sale for $22,000 from Marshall W. Silverman, agent.
So Many Ways is the only stakes winner for sire Sightseeing, who stood at Richland Hills near Midway, Ky. A son of Pulpit, Sightseeing died Dec. 8, 2012, from complications resulting from intestinal surgery.—M.P