When Rodney Jenkins’ Phlash Phelps got headed in the stretch of the Maryland Million Turf by veteran Roadhog, the trainer said to himself, having watched his horse get discouraged in previous races, “Let’s see what he’s made of.”
The four-year-old gelding had sat comfortably behind pace-setting longshot Jo Way Java before sprinting to the lead heading into the far turn, only to find himself in a duel with local favorite Roadhog running to his outside.
And while earlier in the horse’s career such a challenge might have cowed Phlash Phelps, he answered back vehemently Saturday, jumping back into the bridle and coming back on Roadhog to win by three-quarters of a length.
It was his fourth win in a row and second consecutive stakes win, following a year of futility in which he failed to find the winner’s circle in his first six races.
“All of a sudden he came around,” said Jenkins. “He began to be much braver, even in his workouts.”
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