Can’t “Catch” him!

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Jen Caldwell

December 7th, 2014

On December 6, popular gelding Eighttofasttocatch closed out his career with a scintillating 10 3/4-length victory in the Jennings Handicap at Laurel Park.

It was a fitting end to a career that has spanned seven years and 12 stakes victories -- including three triumphant runnings of the Maryland Million Classic and four straight scores in the Jennings.

Eighttofasttocatch may not be a household name like Zenyatta or California Chrome, but the chestnut has attracted quite a following during that time.

How could he not?

Eighttofasttocatch (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)While many of the big name runners compete for one or two seasons at the most before retiring, Eighttofasttocatch has shown up year after year and put his best hoof forward to entertain his fans.

In this day and age of flash-in-the-pan runners, it’s rare to come across an Eighttofasttocatch, or “Catcher” as he’s known around the barn where he hangs out with the goat Gigi.

Along the way he’s racked up a 17-7-4 career line from 49 races and accumulated more than $1 million in lifetime earnings.

Not bad for a Maryland-bred son of Not For Love.

Following a retirement ceremony in Laurel Park winner’s circle on December 13, Eighttofasttocatch will get a couple of months off at trainer Tim Keefe’s 27-acre Avalon Farm in Montgomery County, Maryland. Once the weather starts warming, Keefe’s wife and daughter will begin teaching the gelding his new career of eventing.

Hopefully Eighttofasttocatch will take to his new profession as well as another popular state-bred in Icabad Crane, who retired last year after making a name for himself in New York. That Empire State-bred has found a new home on the OTTB show circuit and a future matchup could be very possible for the pair.

Happy trails “Catcher”! Enjoy your retirement!

Photo: Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club