Laurel Park Notes: Free Kitty graduates in 14th try
Free Kitty broke her maiden at Laurel Park. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
News and notes from Friday’s Laurel Park card:
- Free Kitty graduates in 14th try.
- Turf hadn’t really worked for Free Kitty; the four-year-old Tale of the Cat filly was 0-for-8 on the green stuff. And facing New York maidens wasn’t doing her much good either; she was 0-for-13 overall and had been a well-beaten third last out. So trainer Linda Rice did what used to be her go-to move, shipped Free Kitty to Laurel, and put Horacio Karamanos up. The result: a front-running 2 1/2-length score that enabled her to break her maiden. The race projected to have some speed in it, but none of that materialized and Karamanos was able to nurse Free Kitty through modest early fractions in the one-mile test. Challenged near the quarter-pole, she responded readily to pull away for the win, stopping the clock in a middling time of 1:38.29 over a fast main track.
- “I expected the one-horse to go, but my filly broke out of the gate,” Karamanos said. “I sent her a little bit to get position nicely, and I tried to relax her once I got to the lead. She’s a little bit lazy. You have to whip her a couple times to get some kick.”
- Keep Your Distance does.
- Cutting back to her preferred circumstance — an off-the-turf allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs — Keep Your Distance registered a length-and-change victory in the Saturday feature, a second-level allowance/optional claimer. With Jorge Vargas, Jr. in the irons, Keep Your Distance led throughout for her 10th career victory; she’s won three of these off-the-turf sprints in a row, interrupted only by a last-out seventh-place finish in the Timonium Distaff Stakes.
- “This kind of price with these horses, she’s got them over a barrel. She wants to win,” winning trainer Kieron Magee said. “With Jorge on her, he has the confidence in her and when she gets the lead she’s tough to beat.”
- This ‘n’ that
- Jockey J. D. Acosta won twice and now has the early meet lead with six wins. His win aboard Justa Scoch, for trainer Carl Doran, returned $58.40… Trainer Claudio Gonzalez won three times and now has five wins at the meet, two more than any other trainer…