Tagg Returns to Pimlico With Finney Upset

(from Pimlico report)
The last time Barclay Tagg was at Pimlico Race Course, he saddled Funny Cide to a near record performance in winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Saturday, he returned to Old Hilltop from his New York-base to see his Conservation upset odds-on favorite Foufa's Warrior in the $60,000 Humphrey Finney Stakes for 3-year old Maryland-breds.

Jockey Enrique Jurado gave Conservation a confident ride, first saving ground behind Cheverly Gold, who set solid fractions out front. Jurado then took his horse inside of the leader at midstretch and drew away to win by three lengths. Cheverly Gold held off Foufa's Warrior, the 1-2 favorite, for the second spot. The winner paid $7 and topped a $59.40 exacta. The trifecta paid $72.20.

The son of Tamayaz covered the nine furlongs in 1:51.78 over a sloppy main track. The race was taken off the turf course after heavy rains in Baltimore on Friday and Saturday.

"I was concerned about the race coming off of the turf, and I didn't think that he would run well in the mud," said Tagg. "I shod him for the turf yesterday, and I didn't want to re-shoe him because his feet are a little brittle. The jock did a great job, especially when Foufa came to him, and he didn't let him go by."

The late-closing Foufa's Warrior settled nicely behind the pacesetters and was three lengths back at the top of the stretch, but weakened when asked by rider Ramon Dominguez.

"He gave me the trip I expected early, but I could tell that he didn't like the track," said Dominguez. "He came up on the leaders OK, but he just wasn't himself today."

(Chart, Equibase)