LUGAMO POSTS SHARP MAIDEN SCORE
Lugamo Racing Stable’s eponymous 2-year-old colt Lugamo, second to runaway debut winner Jaxon Traveler last month, was impressive in his own right with a similarly successful performance Friday at Laurel Park.
Lugamo ($6) ran seven furlongs in 1:25.18 over a fast main track to win the maiden special weight for juveniles by six lengths under jockey Angel Cruz. Eric’s Empire passed tiring horses for second, 4 ¾ lengths ahead of late-running Flight Map in third.
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“He’s doing really, really good,” trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon said of the winner. “I thought he was going to run big, but maybe not that big. I was a little concerned about the distance, but he proved he can go a little long now
One of two in the race for Sanchez-Salomon, who has won with four of 13 2-year-old starters (30.7 percent) over the past two years, Lugamo is a Florida-bred son of 2014 Sunland Derby (G3) winner Chitu out of the stakes-placed Service Stripe mare Shegoestoeleven.
In his previous start, Lugamo outfinished Speightster Red by a nose for second at odds of 41-1 behind Jaxon Traveler, a 10-length maiden special weight winner Sept. 25 at Pimlico Race Course for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.
Speighster Red had the early advantage Friday, running a quarter-mile in 23.05 seconds pressed on his right hip by Lugamo with Scottsdale, a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner The Factor, racing in the clear in third. Lugamo swept to the lead after running a half in 46.79, edged clear approaching the stretch and opened up through the lane as the 2-1 favorite in a field of six.
“He was keeping himself pretty much in really good shape and he didn’t need another work. It’s only been two weeks since he ran,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “He’s got a lot of talent and he’s very confident in himself.”
In Friday’s other maiden special weight, Chiefswood Stables Limited’s Pilot Episode ($2.80), a homebred daughter of champion sprinter Speightstown, was a popular winner over fellow fillies and mares 3 and up, romping by 17 lengths in front-running fashion for the team of jockey Forest Boyce and Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, who have clicked at 33 percent in Maryland over the past two years.