On Saturday, December 6, a few hours before Alexander Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals buried their Metropolitan Division rivals the New Jersey Devils 4-1, Ovechkin’s equine namesake became a millionaire in the last race of his seven-year career.
Eighttofasttocatch was purchased in 2007 for $47,000 by former Capitals co-owner Arnold Heft, who died earlier this year. Heft named the horse in honor of Ovechkin’s #8; Ovechkin had been drafted first overall by the Capitals in the 2004 NHL entry draft and played his first season for the franchise in 2005-2006, when he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year.
Eighttofasttocatch never reached the lofty heights of his multiple award-winning namesake, but he won 17 races, with seven second-place and four third-place finishes. In the final race of his career, the Jennings Handicap at Laurel Park, he broke the $1 million mark in earnings, winning as the odds-on favorite over a sloppy track; it was his fourth consecutive win in the Jennings. He also won the Maryland Million Classic three times.
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