(Marengo Road held off Charmed Victory in the Miracle Wood. Photo by Laurie Asseo.)
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
A group of promising 3-year-olds, led by Miracle Wood winner Marengo Road and Wide Country winner Great Soul, tops a busy weekend of racing at Laurel Park.
Marengo Road, a 3-year-old colt by Quality Road, leads a group of six in Saturday’s $75,000 Private Terms, while Great Soul, a lightly-raced filly by Great Notion, meets five others in the co-featured $75,000 Caesar’s Wish.
First race post Friday through Sunday at Laurel is 1:10 p.m. Along with the Private Terms and Caesar’s Wish, Laurel will also play host Saturday to the Champions Handicapping Tournament and St. Paddy’s Day Celebration.
The Private Terms and Caesar’s Wish could both hold added significance this spring. The-1 1/16 mile Private Terms is the final prep for the April 9 Federico Tesio, a ‘Win & You’re In” race for the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico May 21, while the one mile Caesar’s Wish is the final pep for the April 9 Weber City Miss, a “Win & You’re In” race for the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico May 20.
Marengo Road, purchased for $120,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September Sale, won the Miracle Wood just days after the passing of co-owner Harry Meyerhoff, a Baltimore native who began buying horses in the 1960s and owned 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Spectacular Bid. Marengo Road broke his maiden at Laurel last fall and won an allowance optional claimer at Laurel in November before finishing ninth in the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct to close out his 2-year-old season. After finishing second in his 3-year-old debut to Never Gone South in the Frank Whiteley Jan. 16, the bay colt won the Miracle Wood by three-quarters of a length Feb. 15 over Charmed Victory.
“We’ve always liked him, and it was nice to see him break through and win a stake like [the Miracle Wood],” said trainer Mike Trombetta.
In the Private Terms, Marengo Road will clash once again with Charmed Victory, a Rodney Jenkins trainee who was a closing second in the Miracle Wood. It was the first time the Flatter ridgling had tasted defeat in his three-race career.
Flash McCaul, a winner last time out in an allowance optional claimer and second in the Maryland Juvenile Futurity, has also entered, along with Abiding Star, Whiskey Tree and Let Me Go First
Great Soul will be one of the favorites in the Caesar’s Wish off her come-from-behind victory Feb. 15 in the seven-furlong Wide Country. After finishing second in her debut Nov. 27, the filly closed out her juvenile season by winning over a muddy mile track Dec. 31 at Laurel. In her 3-year-old debut in the Wide Country, Great Soul was rated off the pace and saved ground before being eased out for an impressive stretch run under jockey Trevor McCarthy.
“We always felt she had some ability early on just because of the way she moved, the way she handled herself, and the way she got across the ground,” said trainer Tim Keefe.
Great Soul will be joined in the Caesar’s Wish by Wide Country runner-up Prognosis, Sophia’s Song, In The Navy Now, Disco Rose and Clare’s Dowery, third in the Wide Country.