HORSES TO WATCH
- CAME BACK – Claiming sort broke slowly, was well behind in a 5 1/2 furlong turf sprint, drifted eight wide in the lane and came with a rush to be second in his first try since December. Claimed out of this race, he’ll be a major player against similar next out.
- SMILING CAUSEWAY – Audley Farm-owned, Arnaud Delacour-trained Giant’s Causeway ran ’em off their feet in her second career race, setting blazing fractions — 21.35 for the opening quarter, 43.89 for the half — and going on to a three-length win in sharp 1:02.01 for 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Still a bit green, this one looks like a runner.
- PHLASH PHELPS – Trainer Rodney Jenkins has high hopes for this Great Notion gelding, and he didn’t do anything to undermine those with a nice score in the 6-furlong Mister Diz for Maryland-breds; this guy could have a nice season ahead of him.
- DO WHAT I SAY – Hard luck Street Magician filly found trouble yet again, having to steady out of contention near the half-pole, but she regrouped, came running, and got the money in the M. Tyson Gilpin. She flashed talent last year as a three-year-old in a couple of starts, and maybe she’s ready to live up to that.
- SISTER SAYS – This Tim Keefe trainee, a 35-1 shot in the Gilpin, closed ground quickly while well outside to earn second after finding herself last early.
- SUPER BUDDY — In his first local try in trainer Ferris Allen’s barn, this Super Saver colt broke slowly, rushed up to contend and emptied out a bit late. But he still held the place in his first try in two months at the tricky 7-furlong distance and will be a handful against similar.
- BORINO — Maybe it was just a bad group, but this Include filly, trained by Cal Lynch, did win by 13 lengths (!) in a first-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles on the main track and now has three wins from nine starts.
Jockey Jevian Toledo is off to the best start in the Maryland jockey colony, with 11 wins, a 22 percent strike rate, solid earnings per start, and the best return on investment among riders with at least two wins (that last is, if a bettor had made a $2 win wager on each of his mounts, how much would he have gotten back per wager. Any number over $2.00 means that you’d have made money simply by betting all the rider’s mounts).
The composite rating in the table at right is based on wins, win percentage, earnings per start, and return on investment. If a rider led the colony in each of those categories, he or she would achieve a perfect score of 400. For more on an earlier version, read here.
Alex Cintron, who won two stakes this past Saturday, zooms into second place on our ratings, paced by his colony-best win percentage and earnings per start.
The rest of the top five include Sheldon Russell, who won five last weekend; Victor Carrasco, tied for the colony lead with 11 wins; and Julian Pimentel.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS
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Trainer Cal Lynch, who won with four of five starters last weekend, is off to a quietly fast start at Laurel Park thus far. The Irish-born Lynch has five wins from 13 starters to date, the second-best win percentage of any trainer with at least seven starts to date. His earnings per start, more than $11,000, lead the track during this meet, and he’s near the top in return on investment. All of that adds up to the highest composite rating of any trainer, more than 329 (400 is perfect; see above).
He’s followed by Jason Egan, who has three wins from seven starters to date; that’s the best win percentage of any trainer on the grounds with at least seven starts. His earnings per start and wagering ROI are both third highest in the group.
They are followed by Kieron Magee, who leads the colony with eight wins so far; Phil Schoenthal, whose $5.04 ROI is the best; and Mike Trombetta.