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Maker goes 1-2 in Texas Turf Classic as Field Pass beats Megacity on DQ

A Lone Star Park stakes recap (photos by Dustin Orona Photography)

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (Saturday, July 16, 2022) — Mike Maker runners, Field Pass and Megacity, hit the wire at Lone Star Park in a 1-2 finish with Megacity in front, only to have a disqualification place Field Pass as the victor in the $300,000 Texas Turf Classic.

Starting back in the one-mile and eighth turf event after being claimed by trainer Mike Maker in May at Churchill Downs for $80,000, Michael Dubb-owned Megacity set the early pace and led the field from gate to wire in the nine-furlong contest. With Joseph Rocco, Jr. in the irons, Megacity led the field into the stretch with stablemate Field Pass and Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano in hot pursuit.

In mid-stretch, Megacity came outward into the path of his stablemate Field Pass with a sixteenth-of-a-mile to run, causing the Castellano-piloted mount to alter course. Closer to the wire, under vigorous right-handed urging from Rocco, Megacity came outward for a second time, and made contact with the eventual winner Field Pass in deep stretch.

After a stewards inquiry, and a riders objection lodged by Castellano, the stewards disqualified Megacity from first-to-second place behind stablemate Field Pass. 

“I am a little disappointed to have to claim foul in this situation, but I am glad that it worked out in our favor to get the win,” said jockey Javier Castellano. “I don’t ever want to punish the best horse in the race by having it disqualified, but I felt that my horse was bothered enough by the Megacity to have to claim foul against him. I appreciate the opportunity to come to Texas to ride such a nice horse for Mike in the Texas Turf Classic.”

Megacity finished a neck in front of stablemate Field Pass but was disqualified to second for interference. Dustin Orona Photography

With the win, the Three Diamonds Farm-owned Field Pass became one of thoroughbred racing’s newest millionaire with $1,142,696 in career earnings from 27 starts. The $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Eastern Yearling sale graduate earned $177,228 for the victory in Grand Prairie, Texas to close out the 4-turf stakes card at Lone Star Park.

“Both horses ran really well today in Texas,” said trainer Mike Maker. “It will depend on how they both come out of this race before we discuss with the owners exactly where we will point towards next. It is possible we might look at the Arlington Million at Churchill for Field Pass as his next target.”

Through disqualification, Megacity was placed second, with Karl Broberg trained US Navy Cross rallying from last to finish third. As the post-time favorite, Field Pass returned $3.60 for the win.

The Texas Turf Festival nine-race card saw a large attendance growth from last years event with 6,769 patrons producing an impressive on-track handle of $578,025.

Lone Star Park continues live racing with five Texas-bred stakes events on Sunday, July 17th, highlighted by both divisions of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Futurity. Post time for the first race of nine-race card is at 11am.

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.