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Chris Gracie pulled his tack off Include It after finishing second in the maiden timber at Piedmont in April.

“You know, Sean, he’s got gears,” Gracie said after riding the 6-year-old Maryland-bred for trainer Todd Wyatt and Riverdee.

A maiden on the flat track for Fitzhugh and Mike Trombetta, a maiden in training flat races at the hunt meets and point-to-points, a maiden after two tries over hurdles, Include It had never been said to have gears.

I walked away and thought about Gracie’s comments. An astute judge, Gracie might have a point. Maybe, Include It does have gears at 3 miles. By stamina-providing Include, out of a stamina-providing Empire Maker mare…maybe that’s where gears come from over timber. 

Yesterday, Include It showed gears to win the Western Run Plate II. Sure, it’s a $10,000 race, but it’s fun to win anything. Eddie Keating gave him a polished ride and the career maiden out-kicked (out-geared) the gallant runner-up, stakes winner My Afleet. 

Fun day of racing in a beautiful setting. McLane Hendriks was flawless aboard Le Chevalier in the Grand National, booking a ticket for next week. Overachieving Awesome Adrian rolled in the Benjamin Murray, Keating with a double. It’s all about gears. 

Today, owners, trainers and riders contemplate tomorrow’s entry day. The Maryland Hunt. The biggest of them all looms, beckons, entices. Roll the dice? Wait another year? 

Off to Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point for a couple of races and runners. 

Check out our picks. Check out The Saturday Special. Enjoy your weekend.