Favorite Nosed at the Wire
Twisted Tom upset heavy favorite O Dionysus, winning by a nose at the wire in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Private Terms at Laurel Park.
Making his first start outside New York under Feargal Lynch, Twisted Tom who at 4-1 paid $10.20 to win, hit the wire in 1:45.68. It was his second straight victory since being moved to the barn of trainer Chad Brown.
“I was very pleased with his performance,” Brown said by text from Gulfstream Park. “It was also a great ride. He never gave up on him.”
Lynch was unhurried racing in fourth as Frank Whiteley Jr. Stakes winner High Roller took the field of seven sophomores through an opening quarter-mile in 24.11 and a half in 48.97, tracked closely by Hashtag Alex and Dharmaster. O Dionysus lagged behind them in last.
Dharmaster, a 16-1 longshot, assumed the lead as the group rounded the far turn while O Dionysus began to make his bid three wide and loomed a threat straightening for home, taking over after six furlongs in 1:14.08. Lynch and Twisted Tom followed with their own move on the far outside and set down for the drive at the head of the lane. At the furlong marker, they were still four lengths behind.
O Dionysus, a multiple stakes winner making his first try around two turns for trainer Gary Capuano, began to edge clear of a stubborn Dharmaster along the rail in mid-stretch, but didn’t have enough left to hold off Twisted Tom’s late run, losing the last bob. He was a half-length ahead of Dharmaster in third, followed by High Roller, Greek Prince, Hashtag Alex and No More Talk.
Twisted Tom was not early-nominated to the Triple Crown. O Dionysus was.
It was very close, but my horse was finishing fast,” Lynch said. “Mr. Brown said, ‘Listen, he’s not going to make up six lengths but luckily there was enough pace and they came back to us. When he switched leads and I got him to the outside and there was no kickback, he got it rolling.”
Losing trainer Capuano said, “He just kind of ran evenly through the stretch. He dug in and put the horse on the inside away and the horse on the far outside just came and nipped him at the wire. He ran a good race. He didn’t see the other horse, obviously, but it is what it is. He ran a good race,” he added. “He stayed out of trouble and made a nice move around the turn."
Edited Maryland Jockey Club release with additional content by Dick Downey