LAUREL: LUGAMO CRUISES TO SECOND STRAIGHT WIN
Lugamo Racing Stable’s promising 2-year-old Lugamo, facing winners for the first time, continued his rapid development with a front-running 4 ¼-length optional claiming allowance score Friday at Laurel Park.
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It marked the second straight win for the Florida-bred Chitu colt and third in a row to open Friday’s program for jockey Angel Cruz. The winning time was 1:38.81 for one mile over a fast main track.
Trained by Rodolpho Sanchez-Salomon, Lugamo ($6.60) lost for the only time in his Sept. 25 debut at Pimlico Race Course when he was second at odds of 41-1 behind undefeated Jaxon Traveler, who is headed to Laurel’s $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Futurity Dec. 5. Second time out, Lugamo was a six-length maiden special weight winner Oct. 16 at Laurel, stretching out from six to seven furlongs.
“He’s showing me a lot of talent every morning, day by day,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “I just told Angel just ride him however he wants to run and that’s it. If it’s possible, ride him like you did the last time. He likes that. He’s very competitive horse, very competitive.”
Adding another eighth of a mile proved no obstacle for Lugamo, who Cruz worked from Post 3 to the rail shortly after the break and surged up to take the lead, going the first quarter in 24.18 seconds pressed by Nice Ace. The pace picked up slightly with a half in 47.39 and No One to Blame picking up the chase, but Lugamo remained firmly in command on the turn and into the stretch, going six furlongs in 1:12.33 and opening up through the lane.
No One to Blame, third in the Nownownow Stakes Oct. 4 on the Monmouth Park turf, held second by 1 ½ lengths as Plamen won a head bob with Omati for third.
“He showed me something last time when he ran the seven-eighths that he wants to go a little longer, which is good,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “When he ran second, he didn’t run a bad race but he showed me he wanted to go longer than that. He came out of the last race like it was just a work.”
Among the upcoming stakes for 2-year-olds at Laurel are the $100,000 James F. Lewis III going six furlongs Nov. 14; $100,000 Heft sprinting seven furlongs and $100,000 Howard County at about 1 1/16 miles, both Dec. 26. The Maryland Juvenile Futurity is restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses.
“The owner got so excited. It’s the first time he’s had a horse like this, 2-year-olds especially, and he wanted to go to the Breeders’ Cup but he wasn’t nominated and the [supplemental] fee was too high,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “Right now I think we’re just going to go step by step, little by little with him. We’ll see what happens.”
Other 2-year-old races on Friday’s program saw Double O Racing’s Market Cap split horses at the top of the stretch and pull clear to a seven-length triumph in Race 5, a one-mile maiden special weight originally carded for the turf, in 1:39.66; and Doubleoseven ($12) hold off Hello Hot Rod to capture Race 9, a maiden claimer sprinting six furlongs in 1:11.20.