Photo Finish Goes to Corporate Power in $100,000 Sir Barton

Edges Gould’s Gold by Nose in 1 1/16-Mile Stakes for 3-Year-Olds

BALTIMORE – Courtlandt Farm’s Corporate Power, making just his fourth start and first in stakes company, got his nose down on the wire and emerged from a three-way photo finish a thrilling winner of Saturday’s $100,00 Sir Barton sponsored by Brandon and Diannah Perry to benefit the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance at historic Pimlico Race Course.

The 26th running of the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton for 3-year-old non-winners of an open sweepstakes was the sixth of nine stakes, five graded, worth $3.3 million in purses headlined by the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Corporate Power ($5.20) had to withstand a stewards’ inquiry and an objection from Joel Rosario, rider of third-place finisher Imperial Gun, alleging interference in the stretch. The winning time was 1:44.98 over a main track rated good.

It was the second stakes win of the day for Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, who scored earlier aboard Super Chow in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint (G3). It was the first Sir Barton win for both he and fellow Hall of Famer, trainer Shug McGaughey.

Daily Grind, a 24-1 long shot trained by Hall of Famer and 2022 Sir Barton winner D. Wayne Lukas, got outside pressure from Gould’s Gold while setting a moderate tempo of 24.39 and 48.35 seconds. Corporate Power was kept in the clear three-wide entering the turn by Castellano and found himself still with work to do as Gould’s Gold took over the top spot at the head of the stretch.

Corporate Power came with a steady run on the far outside and raced in close quarters with Imperial Gun as the two converged on Gould’s Gold, with Corporate Power forging a short lead inside the sixteenth pole and holding off a resurgent Gould’s Gold on the inside to win by a nose. Imperial Gun, between the two horses, was beaten a neck in third.

Real Macho, Daily Grind, D Day Sky, Circle P and Deposition completed the order of finish. Mighty Message and Tuscan Sky were scratched.

Corporate Power, by two-time Horse of the Year and 2014 Hall of Famer Curlin, went unraced at 2 and finished fourth in his Jan. 27 debut at Gulfstream Park, where he graduated by a neck second time out going 1 1/8 miles. In his Sir Barton prep, the bay colt ran second as the favorite in a nine-furlong optional claiming allowance in the slop at Aqueduct. Castellano has been aboard for all his races.

Sir Barton won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 1919, becoming the first horse to sweep what wouldn’t become known as the Triple Crown until Gallant Fox matched the feat in 1930. He won or placed in all 13 of his starts as a 3-year-old and retired in 1920 with 13 wins from 31 races. Based in Maryland with Hall of Fame trainer H. Guy Bedwell, Sir Barton was inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 1957.


Winning Trainer Shug McGaughey (Corporate Power): “It was only his fourth race. He has a lot to learn. I put blinkers on him to try to keep him a little more focused. With racing he’s going to get more focused. This was his best race. I was pleased with his effort.”

“He’s not ready, I think, for the big boys. I think I’d like to race him one more time and face them in the fall.”

Winning Jockey Javier Castellano (Corporate Power): “The blinkers definitely helped a little bit. But it’s a process. Young horses start developing. There was a big crowd, a muddy track. He saw the mark of the tractor (tire tracks). He’s still figuring it out. I think turning for home, he lost focus; at the quarter pole he lost momentum. I had to ride him a little bit, get him to pick it up. I liked the way he finished. I think he likes to be competitive. It seemed to me if he’d been by himself, lonely, he would have stopped and waited for horses. When he felt the horses, I encouraged him a little bit and he re-broke. I liked the way he finished. The horse was galloping out really good, and I said, ‘Could you put it back there earlier in the race?'”

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Gould’s Gold, 2nd): “Just a lightly raced horse and just a little green about things. He made the lead, and he got a little lost, got a little distracted. He surged at them again late. He’ll gain a lot out of this. At the wire, I was like, ‘Oh man, he came back.’ Because those horses opened up pretty good, and then he surged at them really hard. He was a jump too late.”

Trainer Kenny McPeek (Gould’s Gold, 2nd): “I think this horse is still two or three races from his best stuff. But he’s a nice horse.”

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