Talk Show Man, the Maryland Million Turf winner who had been away from the races since November, returned today with a splash, posting a 5 1/2 length victory against a salty allowance field at Laurel Park.
Talk Show Man clipped heels and fell heavily during the running of the Richard W. Small Stakes on November 15, 2014, dumping rider Xavier Perez in the process.
The two were reunited this afternoon in the featured eighth race, an allowance/optional claiming test at one mile with a $50,000 purse. The race had attracted a rugged group, including 2013 West Virginia Breeders Classics winner Fred High; speedy Warrioroftheroses; recent John B. Campbell show horse A.P. Cino; and talented Cerro.
But it was Talk Show Man who proved best of all.
Warrioroftheroses and Cerro matched strides through a half-mile in a sharp 45 1/5 seconds, opening up 15 lengths on the rest of the field. Talk Show Man, meanwhile, was poised in third.
Talk Show Man chopped into the gap rounding the turn, took over leaving the furlong grounds, and cruised to the easy victory. Warrioroftheroses held second, while favored Cerro dropped out of it, finishing last of the six. Starry Moon rallied into third place.
Talk Show Man was now won five of 18 career starts, and the win pushed his earnings to more than $225,000. He was bred in Maryland by his owner, the veterinarian Michael J. Harrison, and is trained by Hamilton Smith.