TASTY! THREE STRAIGHT FOR COCONUT CAKE
NRS Stable, James Chambers and Tim Keefe’s 3-year-old filly Coconut Cake saved ground early, tipped two wide in upper stretch and found room again on the inside to surge up the rail and earn her third consecutive victory in Thursday’s ninth race at Laurel Park.
Trained by Keefe and ridden by Kevin Gomez, Coconut Cake ($3.80) completed six furlongs in 1:09.61 over a fast main track to win the entry-level allowance for Maryland-bred/sired horses by a half-length.
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Coconut Cake, by 2014 General George Handicap (G3) winner Bandbox, went unraced at 2 and is now 3-for-4 this year, suffering her only loss by a half-length when rallying to be third in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight on the Laurel turf May 31.
Michael J. Ryan’s King’s Honor took the lead on the far turn, straightened for home in command and hung on for a desperate neck triumph over late-running favorite Mr. d’Angelo in Race 8, an entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up going one mile on the Kelso turf course.
It was the second straight win for 3-year-old gelding King’s Honor ($11.80), ridden by Forest Boyce, following a three-quarter-length claiming score Aug. 10 that gave trainer Brittany Russell her first career winner at Saratoga.
Meanwhile, trainer Claudio Gonzalez celebrated winning the Laurel summer meet training title by sending out favored Galerio to an allowance score, his sixth win in nine starts. Gonzalez, with 27 wins, at Laurel Park during the meet and 51 around the region since racing resumed regionally in May, ranks 36th in The Racing Biz Top Midlantic trainer ranks. He has won 10 of the last 11 meets in Maryland.
“What can I say? It’s a really good feeling because there are a lot of good trainers here with a lot of experience. That’s why it feels good, and my whole team feels like me,” Gonzalez said. “They’re working hard. They do all the hard work – my assistants, grooms, hotwalkers, exercise riders, blacksmith. Everybody works hard to make sure things go good.”