By Tom LaMarra
Raymond and Dorothy Dweck’s Max’s Pal earned $728,896 in a 26-race career from 1999 to 2002, but $485,070 came during his 3-year-old season in 2000.
The Kentucky-bred horse by Marquetry secured eight of his 12 career victories that season, five of them in the MATCH Series. Organizers said it was the most dominant performance to date of any horse in its first four years.
Max’s Pal, who stood at stud when he was retired from racing, won the Hirsch Jacobs Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in May, Legal Light Stakes at Delaware Park in June, Montpelier Stakes at Laurel Park in July, Rumson Stakes at Monmouth Park in September, and Bergen County Stakes at Meadowlands in October to become not only champion of the MATCH Series 3-year-old sprinter division but the overall series leader. The owners received a $100,000 bonus while trainer Ben Perkins Jr. netted $50,000.
There were six stakes that year in the 3-year-old sprinter division, and Max’s Pal just missed a sweep. He finished second, only a neck behind Alfred DiRico’s Maryland-bred standout Disco Rico, in the grade III Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Monmouth in late June.
Disco Rico finished second to Max’s Pal in two series race, the Legal Light and the Montpelier.
The 2000 MATCH Series also produced an oddity when Paul Fowler’s Grundlefoot won the 3-Year-Old–Long Division for trainer Gary Capuano and Steven Newby’s Just Call Me Carl captured the 3-Year-Old and Up–Sprint Division for trainer Dale Capuano. The brothers were, and still are, based in Maryland with successful racing stables.