Gregory Wilson’s Beltway Bob worked his way from the back of the pack to take the lead down the stretch and win the $50,000 Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap going away at odds of 20-1 on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Laurel Park.
Making his stakes debut in his 36th career start, Beltway Bob was 21 lengths back as 115-1 longshot Kamehameha set the pace through a quarter-mile in :23.48. Favorite Belfour took over and got the half in :47.68 and three-quarters in 1:13.53 before dropping back to finish last. Air Token took the lead around the final turn as Beltway Bob was making a sweeping seven-wide move and took aim at the new leader. Beltway Bob rolled home to score by a length and a quarter for a final time 1:53.90 for the mile and an eighth over a turf course rated good.
From the first crop of Shamrock Farm stallion Baltimore Bob, 6-year-old Beltway Bob is not only Baltimore Bob’s first Maryland Million Day winner, but his first stakes winner. Baltimore Bob stood his first season in Florida, so Beltway Bob got into the race meeting the conditions as a Maryland-bred, not Maryland Million eligible.
Owned and trained throughout his career by Wilson, Beltway Bob ran twice at 2, but didn’t break his maiden until his sixth start at 3 in a $25,000 maiden claimer. Making all of his starts at Laurel, at the claiming and allowance levels, the gelding now has a record of 6-5-3 with $175,469 in earnings.
Beltway Bob is the seventh foal out of his dam Freeway Fun, a daughter of Awesome Again owned by Robert Gerczak who was bred exclusively to Baltimore Bob from 2013 to 2019. The mare has a total of nine foals of racing age – of her eight starters, five are winners. Her four other Baltimore Bob offspring include current 3-year-old filly Hairspray, an unnamed yearling filly and a colt delivered this year. Freeway Fun was bred to Shamrock stallion Barbados for 2021.