Crabcakes looks to regain winning ways in Caesar’s Wish
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Buckingham Farm’s Crabcakes, who suffered her first career loss when second as the favorite in the Wide Country Feb. 18 at Laurel, looks to return to her winning ways in the Caesar’s Wish.
It will be the longest race yet for the Great Notion filly, who won her first three starts – all sprints – topped by the seven-furlong Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship Dec. 10 at Laurel just a week after cruising in her debut at Penn National, where trainer Bernie Houghton is based.
In the Wide Country, Crabcakes found herself in tight quarters early on but forged her way to a half-length lead entering the stretch before being collared and passed by China Grove. She wound up beaten 1 ¼ lengths, the same margin between her and third-place finisher Forever Liesl.
“That race knocked her out a little bit. She got a little tired after that for a couple of days but she tried hard. She ran into a little bit of a buzzsaw there, but she bounced back after a few days and is doing good actually,” Houghton said. “She was a little nervous last time down the backside, a little rank, and then she settled in. She ran good, she just got beat by a better horse last time really. I’m hoping her to be more settled, more relaxed the first part of the race.”
Houghton gave Crabcakes one breeze out of the Wide Country, a six-furlong move in 1:17.15 Monday at Penn National designed to get her used to the longer distance. Regular rider Angel Rodriguez has the call from Post 6; all eight fillies will carry 116 pounds.
“It took her a while to get settled down last time and that’s why I worked her that way. It was a slow work, long, almost like a two-minute lick the first part of it and then she picked it up,” he said. “I’ve trained her a little differently coming into this race. I did a lot of strong gallops with her and I hope that she’s going to go fine. I see that horse that beat her is not in there this time and of the ones I saw I think she’ll be competitive. As long as she relaxes the first part of it, that’s what she needs to do.”
Equine Prep’s Star Super makes her return to the races for the first time since kicking off her sophomore season with a gutsy neck win as the favorite in the six-furlong Marshua Stakes Jan. 21 at Laurel. The daughter of 2010 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Super Saver made six starts at 2, running third in the Sorority and second in the Smart Halo and Gin Talking, the latter two at Laurel, before earning her first stakes victory.
Off a busy juvenile campaign and a tough season opener, and looking for an opportunity to run longer distances, trainer Cal Lynch decided to bypass the Wide Country and point for the Caesar’s Wish. Star Super will have had eight weeks since the Marshua after just a three-week gap between her 2-year-old finale and 3-year-old debut.
“She’s doing well. She’s danced every dance. She’s not a big filly and she’s a filly we think that the further she goes the better. We’ve been kind of gearing her up to go a mile,” Lynch said. “She’s doing fantastic. We [wanted] to give her a chance to catch her breath. We kind of wheeled her back quick last time. I think she bounced a little bit. She still won but it wasn’t as good a race. She’s a nice filly. We’re very optimistic about her chance to be a good filly. We just want to give her that chance.”
Jenda’s Agenda, Shacklefords Lady and Sine Wave, each undefeated through two starts, ship in from out of town for their stakes debut in the Caesar’s Wish. They are joined by Tickled Pink, a professional debut winner Feb. 19 at Laurel for trainer Graham Motion; Aspen Hilltop and Forever Liesl.