Hillwood Stable’s multiple stakes winner Cordmaker, third by two necks in the 2019 Pimlico Special (G3), continues to train steadily as his connections await a spot to make his 5-year-old debut.
Unraced in nine months since winning the DTHA Governors Day Handicap last September at Delaware Park, Cordmaker has had eight timed works at Laurel Park for trainer Rodney Jenkins, most recently going five furlongs in 1:01.20 June 23, the fastest of five horses.
Jenkins planned to give Cordmaker time before this season, a break which was further extended when live racing in Maryland was put on pause for 2 ½ months amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The gelded son of Hall of Famer and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin has been with Jenkins for the duration, rather than spending the winter at Dark Hollow Farm in northern Maryland as he had in past years.
“He’s doing great. He’s actually as good, if not better, than he’s ever been. We’re very pleased with him,” Jenkins said. “I just kept him here. I have these round pens and I turned him out every day, and then we’d ride him a little bit just to keep him from getting bored. He’s been doing great. He put on some weight and looks great.”
Bred in Maryland by the late Bob Manfuso and his life partner, Laurel trainer Katy Voss, Cordmaker has eight wins, two seconds, two thirds and $424,890 in purse earnings from 17 lifetime starts. He won one of four races as a 2-year-old, earned his first stakes triumph in the 2018 Jennings at Laurel to cap his 3-year-old year, and went five-for-eight in 2019 with other stakes wins in the Polynesian and Harrison E. Johnson Memorial t Laurel.
Along with consistency, versatility has been Cordmaker’s calling card, hitting the board at distances from five furlongs to 1 ¼ miles. His wins have come at six furlongs, seven furlongs, one mile, one mile and 70 yards, and 1 1/8 miles.
“He’s a good horse. He gets better the older he gets. He was a very immature 2-year-old. The Jennings was his breakout race, I think,” Jenkins said. “He can run. He’s fast. He’s not just a horse that goes long. When you’ve got a horse like that, there’s very few races for him. It’s nice to have one that can do those things because you get a chance to run them more.”