Linda Zang’s Maryland homebred Lewisfield, whose four career stakes wins have all come at Laurel Park, will launch his 6-year-old campaign Saturday in a third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up carded as Race 10 on an 11-race July 4 holiday program.
The six-furlong sprint also attracted such horses as 2019 Maryland Million Sprint winner Taco Supream, fourth by less than a length to Lewisfield in the 2019 Howard & Sondra Bender Memorial; Completed Pass, favored winner of the Jim McKay Turf Sprint last May at Pimlico Race Course; 2020 General George (G3) runner-up Threes Over Deuces and Onemoregreattime, second in the 2018 Star de Naskra.
Based at Charles Town with trainer Jeff Runco, a winner of more than 4,300 career races, Lewisfield has finished in the top three in 19 of 23 career starts with eight wins. His most recent came in his last start, a front-running neck triumph over Grade 2 winner Still Having Fun in the six-furlong Bender Dec. 7.
“The horse is doing great. He’s been training well. He’s had a longer than expected break, but it does him well,” Runco said. “It’s time. It’s been a tough, tough year for racing so it’s good to get him back going again.”
Lewisfield has done well in Maryland, with a record of 7-3-2 from 14 starts at Laurel and thirds in the 2018 and 2019 Maryland Sprint (G3) at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard. He shows four works since mid-May at Charles Town, two of them bullets, and a three-furlong move in 35.80 seconds June 27.
“He put on weight over the winter and he looks really good right now. We expect him to run well, hopefully,” Runco said. “I think he’ll be sharp and he’s ready to go. He usually runs well fresh so we’ll keep our fingers crossed and see how it goes. He’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”
Big Bertha Stable’s Taco Supream raced twice over the winter, finishing third in an optional claimer Jan. 3 and first in a starter optional Feb. 15, but was disqualified to fourth for interference in the latter. All seven of his career wins have come at Laurel, where he has been worse than third just four times in 20 tries.
Robert D. Bone’s Completed Pass, whose last seven races have come on turf, is winless in five starts since the Jim McKay. In his lone effort this year, he rallied to dead heat for third in a 5 ½-furlong optional claimer over Laurel’s world-class turf course June 8 for summer meet-leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez.