Red's Round Table Slam Dunks The Wide Country Stake

(Reprinted from Maryland Jockey Club, go to for more)

Red's Round Table takes the
Wide Country Stakes
Photo Credit: Jim McCue/MJC

LAUREL, MD. 03-05-11---Off like a shot and home safe after some late encouragement, Arnold Heft’s Red’s Round Table won her fourth straight stakes this afternoon, this time the $75,000 Wide Country Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Laurel Park.

Although runner-up Sweet Susan made a bold run at the winner late in the contest after chasing her from the start, the race was never in doubt as jockey Sheldon Russell helped the daughter of Cuvee to a ¾ length victory in 1:25.99 for the seven furlong distance. Heather, who had finished second behind the winner in the Marshua Stakes last time out, finished third.

“Couldn’t have asked her to try any harder,” said Russell, the leading rider during the current Laurel winter meeting. “She really gave us everything today. She was definitely slowing down and I just wanted her to be able to see the other horse coming. She’s very game and keeps trying. As soon as I brought her out she gave me a little extra.”

The promising filly is now six-of-seven lifetime with added money scores at Delaware Park and Aqueduct to end her 2-year-old campaign and a pair of stakes at Laurel (Marshua and Wide Country) to begin her sophomore season. The winner, who is trained by Tim Keefe at Laurel Park, paid $3.20.

Keefe is best known for conditioning the recently retired Celtic Innis ($648,638 in earnings), a multiple stakes winning sprinter.

“We worried about the distance,” said Keefe. “The filly looks like a sprinter and runs like a sprinter. I had Celtic Innis for six years and was always asked why I wasn’t stretching him out but it was working going short. She is gutsy and wants to win. The only other horse I had like that was Celtic.”

For more than a decade Heft, a former co-owner of the Baltimore Bullets and NBA referee, met with Hall of Fame coach Red Auerbach and eight other friends, including Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, award winning journalist John Feinstein and former Washington Post sports editor George Solomon, for Tuesday lunches in Washington D.C. before the former Boston Celtics coach passed away in 2006. Early last year Heft told Keefe he wanted to name the barn’s best 2-year-old after Auerbach. The trainer picked the right one.

“We are having a great time with her and don’t even know how good she is,” Heft said. “After not speaking for almost 30 years, Red and I became really good card playing buddies. This has been a lot of fun for the entire group.”

Keefe indicated the ultimate goal for Red’s Round Table is the $75,000 Miss Preakness Stakes, a six-furlong test at Pimlico Race Course on Black-Eyed Susan Day (May 20).

PO Box 186
Sandy Spring, MD  20860


22 Wins

21 Wins
1 Training Title

40 wins

38 wins
2 stakes win 

19 wins
4 stakes wins

36 wins
2 stakes wins
17% win percentage

43 wins
7 stakes wins
21% win percentage