Correa, Hanalei’s Houdini strike in Big T feature
Hanalei’s Houdini. Photo by The Racing Biz.
Five-pound apprentice Julio Correa won the Laurel Park summer meet riding title. And it looks like the kid can take his show on the road.
In his first action on the bullring at Timonum, Correa had a win and a second from three mounts, and his poised, astute ride helped favored Hanalei’s Houdini to victory in the featured $36,000 allowance contest.
“This track is different,” said Correa, a 25-year-old native of Puerto Rico. “Shorter.”
It is that. It also has tighter turns and a shorter stretch than Maryland’s so-called mile tracks, which makes race-riding a somewhat different animal.
“You need to know when to use your horse (to gain position),” Correa added.
He did that adeptly on Hanalei’s Houdini. The Ham Smith trainee, off as the 7-5 favorite, broke alertly before settling back off the leaders. Correa managed to save ground most of the way, seemed for a moment to be boxed in, but then shot through a hole along the rail leaving the furlong grounds to seize command.
Hanalei’s Houdini powered home to a 3 1/4-length victory over 2-1 Lion Lord. Longshot Coach Adams, 15-1, was third. Running time over a muddy, sealed strip was 1:40.08 for a mile.
“It was a little sloppy, but my horse is good on a sloppy track,” Correa said.
It was the fourth time Correa has ridden Hanalei’s Houdini, and the third time the duo has visited the winner’s circle. The win was the Jersey Town colt’s third from seven career starts and pushed his earnings past the $80,000 mark.
BIG T NOTES Two jocks, Christian Hiraldo and J. D. Acosta, won twice on the card; the former is based at another bullring track, Charles Town, where the latter also was based for a number of years… Acosta’s two wins included one — aboard Heningham in the fourth race — via disqualification. The other came in a dominant score aboard Giggling in a maiden special weight test that was the seventh race… Both of Acosta’s wins came for trainer Cal Lynch, the only conditioner to win two on the day… Saturday’s feature is the 6 1/2-furlong, $75,000 Maryland Coalition Stakes, and the Michelle Nevin-trained Wonderful Light is the 5-2 morning line favorite…
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