Bullet Catcher Dead Heats For Second In Thursday Feature

Bullet Catcher Dead Heats For Second In Thursday Feature

LAUREL, MD. 01-31-13---Bullet Catcher, who made local and national headlines earlier this month after escaping from the Laurel Park backside and taking a 1.6 mile journey, finished in a dead heat for second place at odds of 12-1 in Thursday’s feature at Laurel, a $40,000 allowance race.

Making his first start on his home track, the son of Strong Hope flashed early speed, pressed the pace before surging to the lead, then held on to tie for second in a four-horse blanket finish.

23-1 shot Disco Elvis won the 5-1/2 furlong test, a neck ahead of Bullet Catcher and late closing Pass You Bye Bye, who rallied on the outside. Field Pass was a nose behind that duo for fourth.

J.D. Acosta got his first try aboard Bullet Catcher, who paid $6 to place and $7.80 to show.

“He tried really hard,” Acosta said. “He made a really good effort in the end. It looked like he was going to get there but it felt like he slowed down in the last 25 yards.”

On Friday morning, Jan. 11, the 4-year old Jerry Robb trainee tossed jockey Jeremy Rose while heading back to the barn after a workout and got loose. He made his way out of the stable gate, made a left on Whiskey Bottom Road and another left onto U.S. Route 1 before being caught, un-injured. 

Jockey Abel Castellano captured part of the adventure on his mobile phone.

“It was fun to ride him,” added Acosta. “I went on You Tube and saw Abel’s video. I am glad he is okay. He is a fighter.”

This was the second consecutive second place finish for the gelding since the incident. He was a runner-up in an allowance race at Charles Town off a six-month layoff on January 19. He is 1-for-8 lifetime with five in the money finishes.


The Maryland Jockey Club honored trainer Jamie Ness between races Thursday afternoon for finishing atop the standings at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course last year.

Ness had 83 winners at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in 2012, 16 more than Dane Kobiskie. The 38-year-old captured the Pimlico spring and Laurel fall training titles. The barn won races at an impressive 27% rate and had 17 multi-win afternoons.

“Maryland is kind of new to us,” said Ness, who has been stabled at the Bowie Training Center since the fall of 2011. “We had a great year and like racing here. We have come a long way from 1999 when I got my license and started my career 0-for-40.”

Overall, he was the nation’s winningest conditioner a year ago with 395 winners. In addition to his success in Maryland, he captured his sixth consecutive training title at Tampa Bay Downs and also topped the standings at Delaware Park and Penn National and was second at Presque Isle Downs.

“You cannot do it without great people,” added Ness. “We have a system and I am the overall manager. I wish I was a little more hands on but I can’t be. I have a 9 o’clock flight for Tampa tonight and will be there for two days then I’ll be at Gulfstream. Next week it is New York.”

Ness teamed up with Abel Castellano for 69victories. Castellano will be honored on Saturday, Feb. 16 for being the top rider in the state a year ago.

About Laurel Park

Laurel Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.