Two Notch Road, Queen Caroline log stakes wins
Queen Caroline. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
One’s a nine-year-old veteran of many racing wars. The other is a three-year-old who broke her maiden last out.
But you can also call Two Notch Road and Queen Caroline the winners of the inaugural runnings of today’s White Oak Farm and Nellie Mae Cox Stakes, respectively.
Though bred in Virginia, Two Notch Road has found a home in Maryland. The 9-year-old gelding earned his third career stakes victory and first at Pimlico in the $60,000 White Oak Farm for 3-year-olds and up.
Sent off at 12-1, Two Notch Road ($27.60) split horses in mid-stretch and pulled away to a one-length victory in 56.89 seconds for five furlongs over a firm turf. He was followed by Moon River, Available, Made Bail and Joe Tess, each separated by a head. Exaggerated finished last as the 1-5 favorite in a field of 11.
It was the first stakes attempt for Two Notch Road since defending his 2014 victory in the 5 ½-furlong Punch Line last fall at Laurel Park.
“He loves it here. He likes Laurel, also. We’re going to try for a three-peat,” said winning trainer Glenn Thompson, who co-owns the horse with breeder James Hackman. “He’s insane. He’s a 9-year-old that has a 2-year-old brain. When he walks in here I have to saddle him outside. He’s quite entertaining.”
Jockey Julien Pimentel rated Two Notch Road behind early pacesetter Made Bail before coming off the rail to find a seam and sprint to the wire ahead of a blanket finish. Pimentel was also aboard in the 2015 Punch Line.
“It was a perfect trip,” Pimentel said. “I sat behind horses and when it was time to go he kicked in. He always tries.”
Queen Caroline was another horse who enjoyed a good trip.
Amy Moore’s Queen Caroline made her stakes debut a winning one, rallying from just off the lead for a one-length victory in the $60,000 Nellie Mae Cox for fillies and mares 3 and up.
A 3-year-old Blame filly trained by Michael Matz and favored at 6-5 off her maiden victory over older horses May 21 at Pimlico, Queen Caroline ($4.60) ran 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:42.41.
Alex Cintron, who won the $60,000 Edward P. Evans earlier in the day with Rose Brier, was able to get Queen Caroline into a stalking position three wide after breaking from outside post 13 behind pacesetting Hooligan, who started from the rail.
“I wanted to get a good position early in the race,” said Cintron. “I used a little bit of her speed just to get in the race early and then dropped in to save ground, and everything worked out perfect. She was running good at the end. I was saving ground but I was in the clear at the same time.”
Secret Or Not, at 13-1, followed Queen Caroline as she made her move and got up for second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Hooligan. Sweet Sandy finished fourth.