Paynter's ultra-consistent Harpers First Ride won for the 12th time in 23 lifetime starts in Saturday's $100,000 Deputed Testamony S. at Pimlico. The 5-year-old has five stakes wins to his credit, including last year's Pimlico Special S. (G3) and now back-to-back wins in the Deputed Testamony.
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Harpers First Ride led for the majority of Saturday's 1 1/8-mile contest. He took the lead right from the break and then let Cordmaker take over entering the backstretch. The dark bay retook the lead with a half-mile to run and began to shake clear of Cordmaker at the top of the stretch. Magic Michael mounted a late charge, but could get no closer than 1 1/2-lengths at the wire.
The final time was 1:49.52 on a fast main track.
“I looked inside and nobody wanted to go, so I just took the lead,” said winning rider Angel Cruz. “ (Cordmaker) put some pressure on me, but I thought we were going slow and easy. It worked out well.”
Harpers First Ride has now earned $699,664 for GMP Stables LLC, Arnold Bennewith and Cypress Creek Equine.
The winner was bred by Sagamore Farm and is one of Paynter's six stakes winners in 2021, topped by Pegasus World Cup Inv. (G1) winner Knicks Go.