In Focus: Wagering Maryland Juvenile Championship day
Clever Mind. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
Our In Focus Guide offers the most in-depth analysis and commentary on all four stakes on Saturday’s Maryland Juvenile Championship card at Laurel Park.
Also, check out some other race info:
RACE 4 – MARYLAND JUVENILE FUTURITY
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 4 (2:00 pm EST), $100,000 purse for MD-bred/MD-sired 2yo, 7 furlongs
- #4 – Cordmaker (6-1): This handsome gelded son of Curlin adds blinkers after a neck loss when in first time versus winners locally; appeared a bit green in that one, his third lifetime start, so blinkers may make the difference as trainer R. Jenkins (28% with this move) saw his runner put in two bullets with the equipment change
- #6 – Clever Mind (7-5): Impressive debut win after a tardy start in the MD Million Nursery earning 89 BRIS# which is tops in this group for trainer G. Motion; this son of Buffum out of a Cozzene mare made up nearly nine lengths from the half-mile marker to the stretch in that lone start; will run with Lasix for the first time in career start number two; like the 5f and 6f works
- #5 – Jamaican Don (5-2): Only runner in this six-horse field with two victories; has been part of the Exacta while being post time favorite in all four starts; will try to carry his speed an additional furlong in rematch with #6 – Clever Mind who caught him two back in the MD Million Nursery; could steal it if not challenged early
- #2 – Still Having Fun (7-2): A debut winner by Old Fashioned out of a Dehere mare for trainer T. Keefe, whose runners typically don’t fire at first asking, but the $40kMCL (MD-bred Waiver) field he dusted may have been weak one; regardless, a strong effort covering the final 1/8 in 12 flat; shows a 5f bullet in lone work since
REST OF THE FIELD
#1 – Riteamontofmschief (15-1): Most experienced two-year-old entered, having seven starts to his credit while finally breaking through the maiden ranks in his latest, a 5f scamper at Pen where the runner-up came back to win; likely candidate to keep #5 company in the early stages on this contest; will need to take another big step forward as best speed figure came in lone turf try… #3 – Whirlin Curlin (10-1): Took a giant (25 pt. BRIS) leap in speed figure when breaking maiden in the restricted C. Elser Memorial, his third career outing but first sprinting on a fast, dirt surface; in spite of his breeding, today’s 7f might be the furthest he wants to race
Ms. Locust Point. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
Race 6 — WILLA ON THE MOVE STAKES
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 6 (3:00 pm EST), $100,000 purse for fillies and mares three-year-olds and upward, 6 furlongs
- #7 – Ivy Bell (3-1): CD shipper has been in great form for well over a year now and no worse than second during that time frame with one exception, when she clipped heels and lost jock two back when 3-5 favorite; runner-up in the G3 Chicago Hcp in June, this filly makes her longest road trip of her fourteen-race career and regular rider B. Hernandez, Jr. gives up a Saturday of mounts at FG just to ride this gal
- #9 – Ms Locust Point (5-1): This three-year-old Dialed In filly had the look of a future star until something went amiss late in the G2 Forward Gal at GP in Feb.; made a successful return to the races last month, winning a N2x contest at her home track Prx; trainer John Servis is just 17% with runners “2nd off layoff” but this filly might be the best he’s had coming into that scenario; look for her to try a gate-to-wire score as there are no other “need the lead” types in here
- #5 – Absatootly (7-2): NY-bred returns to MD from the Big Apple seeking a perfect 4 for 4 record at Lrl; fits nicely in these minor stakes events, as she won a restricted stakes in her last effort earning a career best 100 BRIS# but has never won back-to-back at this level
- #4 – Shimmering Aspen (4-1): Through this summer was one of if not the best three-year-old filly in the Mid-Atlantic but a bad showing in the G3 CT Oaks followed by a distant third in the Safely Kept suddenly makes her vulnerable and likely not the Post Time favorite as she’s been in 8 of her 9 outings; her sharp 46 3/5 work last weekend indicates we’ll see her more forwardly placed
FIELD IN FULL
#1 – My Magician (8-1): Tough rail assignment for Closer who makes third start after layoff for trainer C. Gonzalez who has breathed new life into this five-year-old mare, winning 3 of 5 starts since May 19th claim…. #2 – Lake Ponchatrain (15-1): Well-travelled CT-based mare is reunited with X-Man who was aboard for her latest victory in the Pink Ribbon at CT; third start in 35 days might be asking too much to give her best… #3 – She’s Hot Wired (20-1): Seeks first win of ’17 though just 0 for 6 makes her a rank outsider but has gotten PLACE or SHOW purse in 23 of 47 starts; sixth by 10-lengtsh in this event last year… #6 – Line of Best Fit (8-1): Makes first start for new trainer (C. Gonzalez) which typically means more early speed as if the two bullet works didn’t already give that away; a 16-time winner but her claim to fame is losing by just 3-lengths to Songbird in G1 Del Hcp this past July… #8 – Fear No Evil (15-1): Took eleven tries to get to Winners’ Circle, which was on turf with E. Prado in the irons, won latest in a N1x over a good Aqu main track surface earning career best 90 BRIS#… that won’t get the job done here
Fanniebellefleming. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
Race 7 — MARYLAND JUVENILE FILLY CHAMPIONSHIP
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 7 (3:30pm EST), $100,000 purse for MD-bred/MD-sired 2yo fillies, 7 furlongs
- #10 – Frechette (4-1): Fresh off her gate-to-wire maiden score in second start after just missing by a head in debut, whether it was addition of Lasix, muddy track or education, this El Padrino filly loses her jock (E. Prado) to #6 Limited View but the replacement isn’t chopped liver (F. Lynch) who has won with 22% of G. Motion runners
- #6 – Limited View (7-2): “Poor break” in MD Million Lassie could be the understatement of the year as she spotted her rivals over a dozen lengths yet moved passed all ten of them lie they were standing still; as visually impressive as it was, the speed fig was sub-par; 3 wins on resume’… all at Lrl, is tops in this contest; she’s her own worst enemy, a huge head-case that can meltdown keeps trainer J. Salzman, Jr. up at night
- #2 – Vente to Go (6-1): A pair of bridesmaid finishes after winning racing debut when 17-1 for new on the scene owner/trainer C. Nambo; much the second best in latest going one mile, losing lead to winner who came back to run third in the G2 Desmoiselle at Aqu
- #1 – Drops and Buckets (15-1): Sagamore Farm home-bred claimed away out of 9+ length romp for $25k following similar maiden win the race prior after two ugly tries on turf; coincidently or not wins came after adding Lasix and blinkers; new trainer P. Schoenthal (26% 1st after claim) looks to hit a home run here
REST OF THE FIELD
#3 – Margie’s Money (6-1): Speed of the speed has been away from races since giving way late in MD Million Lassie after being pressed early; an easy early lead could help her get the extra furlong… #4 – Deep Red (12-1): Got back on winning track in latest when facing weaker and changing tactics, which could help turn the tables on #3 and #6 in here … #5 – Oh So Lovely (30-1): Still a maiden after four starts, came up a nose short in latest v. $16kMCL; cannot endorse… #7 – Number the Stars (12-1): If she can run back to her debut effort, she’s a player; got a 4f tightener 5 days ago and gets F. Boyce back in the irons… #8 – Fanniebellefleming (12-1): Quick 14-day turn around after going 6f to win Donna Freyer; needs to improve off that best effort to be a factor… #9 – Eighty Six Mets (12-1): Lone win came on Del turf but best of four starts speed figure-wise was her Show effort in latest… #11 – Steamy Hot (9-2): Lost debut by 11 then won next start by 14 at same level and surface, bet down to 7-2 while going 3/8 further.
Sonny Inspired. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
Race 8 — HOWARD M. BENDER MEMORIAL STAKES
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 8 (4:00 pm EST), $75,000 purse for MD-sired/MD-bred three-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs
- #7 – It’s the Journey (5-2): He’s one race removed from earning his career best BRIS# (100) that came in his fourth consecutive victory, a streak broken when drubbed at Kee in the G2 Phoenix against G1 talent; returns home capable of starting a new streak
- #10 – Rockinn On Bye (6-1): Winless in his last 23 outings due to one of the worst cases of “Second-itis” seen in quite some time (19 times in 51 starts); should get a perfect set-up as this field has a plethora of early speed; has hit the board in 12 consecutive races with T. Hole in the irons; runner-up to top pick in last meeting
- #4 – Talk Show Man (12-1): Don’t let the route races on turf fool you or the 0 for 1 at 6f; this 7-year-old has won on dirt and his full brother (Just Jack) won this event last year; trainer “Ham” Smith has been training him up to this contest with a nice work pattern; his late-running style fits well with the anticipated fast, early pace
- #2 – Lewisfield (9-2): Late-blooming Great Notion three-year-old puts his three-race win streak on the line; keeps getting better with every start and no reason to think he cannot take another step forward; distant runner-up to him in latest came back to destroy N1x rivals
REST OF THE FIELD
#1 – Noteworthy Peach (20-1): Last raced nearly 13-months ago yet has been steadily working over the past 3 months for trainer G. Capuano who is just 7% with long layoff runners. #3 – Showalter (8-1): Managed to get head bob victory in just second start in over a year; will have company up front early but will J. Toledo be aboard or ride G. Capuano’s other runner (#1)… #5 – Final Prospect (15-1): Previously been an Also Ran behind four of foes in here and just 1 for 13 at the distance; lost latest by a whisker with 7lb. bug boy who retains mount to ride his little heart out… #6 – Grandiflora (30-1): Makes third start after layoff; got first career fast track win in an off the turf event facing just two rivals… #8 – Struth (5-1): Quite the prudent $20k claim in mid-May by trainer K. Magee, stakes win at Del while never off-the-board on the MD racing circuit; looks to rebound after dull try at Prx… #9 – Sonny Inspired (12-1): Three troubled trips and simply overmatched in stakes on Preakness Day sums up last four outings since last trip to Winners’ Circle; an upset win would not be a shock… #11 – Winplaceorshowono (12-1): Scratched from 7f $100k stakes here last month indicates three-year-old prefers 6f or needed extra time between races… #12 – Jrock (20-1): Tough spot seeking first win of ’17 as his two worst showings of the year came in restricted stakes versus similar foes