Ain't Da Beer Cold
Ain’t Da Beer Cold won the first 2-year-old race of 2020 at Laurel Park. Photo by Jim McCue.

Matt Spencer, Kelly Jo Cox and Bonuccelli Racing’s homebred Ain’t Da Beer Cold jumped out to a quick lead and never trailed to spring a 15-1 upset in Maryland’s first juvenile race of the year Friday at Laurel Park.

Ridden by Angel Cruz for trainer Ken Cox, Ain’t Da Beer Cold ($32) ran five furlongs in 58.11 seconds over a fast main track to win the open maiden special weight for 2-year-olds by 4 ¾ lengths in his second career start.

A gelded chestnut son of 2013 Peter Pan (G2) winner Freedom Child bred in Maryland out of the With Distinction mare Distinct Affair, Ain’t Da Beer Cold debuted July 1 running fifth of six in a five-furlong maiden special weight at Delaware Park. He breezed twice since at Laurel, where Cox is based, for his return.

“The first start was typical 2-year-old baby stuff,” Cox said. “We liked this horse a little bit, even the first start, but he had the one-hole at Delaware and was a little green. He didn’t want to switch leads in the lane and just kept clocking everything. He was well-mannered today. He kind of knew what was going on, and he showed his talent.”

Cruz, who captured Friday’s third race for Cox with Awesome Pal ($6.20) as part of a three-win day, hustled Ain’t Da Beer Colt to the front where they ran a quarter-mile in 23.05 seconds pressed by third-time starter San Antone to his outside and Ladneedsahandler in the clear three wide. San Antone kept up through a half in 46.02 but Ain’t Da Beer Cold turned for home in command and opened up once in the straight, drawing away under a hand ride.

First-time starter Depository came on to get second, a neck ahead of stablemate San Antone. It was another head back to even-money favorite Alwaysinahurry in fourth, followed by Alpha Queue, Kake’scharmingboy, Gallant George, Ladneedsahandler and Theduke of Hazzard. Don’t Dare Me was scratched.

“He’s showed this kind of speed in the mornings for us a few times so we’re not surprised, but with the kind of class and speed in here I thought we’d be laying third or fourth,” Cox said. “He had an inside post again but it all came together.”

All of Friday’s 2-year-olds ran without having the medication Lasix administered within 48 hours of post time. Ain’t Da Beer Cold also ran without Lasix in his debut.

“He was working all along without Lasix. I’m not a big believer in breezing horses on it if they don’t need it, but if they need it I’m definitely for it,” Cox said. “For today, we scoped him a couple times and he was clean and I said, ‘Why change something now?’ He’s doing too good to change up and add Lasix if he didn’t really need it, so to me it was a no-brainer. He was fine running without it today.”

Maryland’s first 2-year-old race for fillies will kick off Saturday’s nine-race card at 12:40 p.m., a five-furlong maiden special weight sprint on the main track that drew a field of 10 led by Hope Jones’ 5-2 program favorite Tiz Ferguson. The bay daughter of Tiznow was second in her unveiling, a 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight July 4 at Monmouth Park, and will be joined by her stablemate, Charles Biggs’ debut runner My Dream Girl, listed at 5-1 on the morning line.

Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning trainers Michael Matz and Graham Motion each entered first-time starters. Motion will send out Skeedattle Associates’ Betcha by Golly (4-1), a Maryland-bred Tapizar filly that fetched $150,000 as a yearling last fall, while Matz has Caroline Forgason’s Miss Marley (6-1), a homebred daughter of 2012 Belmont (G1) winner Union Rags.

Saturday’s card will also feature carryovers of $8,687.82 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 4-9) and $7,453.17 in the 50-cent Late Pick 5 (Races 5-9) after both went unsolved Friday. Tickets with five of six winners in the Rainbow 6 returned $384.16 while tickets with four of five winners in the Late Pick 5 were worth $92.