From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Trainer Jeremiah Englehart admitted it’s a “special time of year” for anyone with a promising 3-year-old colt. And it turned a little more special for Englehart Saturday afternoon when he watched Tom O’Grady’s Bridget’s Big Luvy go gate-to-wire over a muddy track at Laurel Park to win the $100,000 Private Terms Stakes.
A Maryland-bred son of Tiz Wonderful coming off a fifth-place finish in Gulfstream Park’s Hutcheson Stakes (G3) and equipped with blinkers for the first time, Bridget’s Big Luvy set fractions of :24.25, :48.14 and 1:13.14 before crossing the finish line under jockey Angel Cruz 2 ½ lengths in front of Bodhisattva while covering the 1 1/8 mile in 1:51.92. It was another 2 ½ lengths back to Net Gain in third.
“If I didn’t tell you it was exciting I would be telling a lie,” said Engleheart when asked about the possibility of running in the spring classics. “I get caught up like everyone else this time of year…it’s a special time of year. I would like to be part of the talk and the fun surrounding (the Triple Crown).”
Bridget’s Big Luvy, who chased Remsen (G2) and Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2) runner-up Frosted in his first two starts, broke his maiden across the mud at Belmont in October before finishing fifth in his 3-year-old debut Jan. 24 in the Hutcheson at Gulfstream.
“I always thought he was a pretty nice horse,” Englehart said. “The first two times in New York he ran against some pretty nice horses. We always thought he would stretch out. He was never comfortable in Florida handling the heat. We worked him in blinkers in his last two breezes. Even though we worked him we weren’t sure we were going to run him with them. We didn’t want him to be too keen early. But Angel gave him a super ride.”
Said Cruz: “When we got to the front, we got there so easy. He was really relaxed all the way, and coming out of the last turn he just kept going. I looked back and said, ‘Oh, my gosh. ’ He galloped out really well. I think that he can go a longer distance. When I got to the stretch I kept waiting and waiting, and kept going and going.”
The question is what to do next? “I’m going to talk to the owner,” Englehart said. “But you never know.”