LAUREL: STREET LUTE, JAXON TRAVELER SCORE

Street Lute
Xavier Perez celebrates as Street Lute wins. Photo by Jerry Dzierwinski.

Make it four-for-five for Street Lute. Next up: most likely, recognition as the champion Maryland-bred two-year-old filly of 2020.

Street Lute parlayed what rider Xavier Perez called “a perfect trip” to a decisive score in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship. In the process, she left little doubt: she’s Maryland’s top juvenile filly this year.

The win was Street Lute’s fourth in five career starts, and it was her third in stakes company. She also owns wins in Delaware’s Small Wonder, as well as the Smart Halo three weeks back at Laurel. The only blemish on her record: a second-place finish, by just a neck behind Miss Nondescript, in the Maryland Million Lassie, a defeat she avenged today.

“She’s just improving,” Perez said. “Every single day, she’s improving.”

On a day when speed was holding well, Perez said his and trainer Jerry Robb’s initial plan was to try to grab the early advantage. But other runners had other ideas, and it was Belmont Park maiden winner Liam’s Missy who gained the early edge while pressed by Lassie show horse Trip to Freedom.

That left Perez and Street Lute tucked in in third, riding the rail and just behind the lead pair. Liam’s Missy held the lead after a quarter-mile in 22.70 seconds and a half in 46.47. Street Lute was just a couple back at both calls and merely biding her time.

“I know my filly can settle and she did,” Perez said.

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Nearing the stretch, Perez steered his mount off the fence for clear running room. Once the field straightened away, Street Lute powered to the lead and was never threatened in the lane. The margin was two lengths leaving the furlong grounds and 1 ¾ on the wire. Running time for the seven furlongs over a fast main track was 1:24.83.

Juror Number Four defied the bias, rallying from eighth to second, a bit less than a length ahead of show horse Maxine’s Tap Room.

As the 2-1 post time favorite, Street Lute returned $6.00 to win and topped an exacta that returned $10.40 for a dollar.

Street Lute, a daughter of Street Magician, was bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Tom Bowman and Dr. Brooke Bowman. She’s trained by Jerry Robb for Lucky 7 Stables and, with four wins in five starts, now has earnings of $230,220 – a pretty good return on investment for a filly that cost $10,500 last year as a yearling.

“It means a lot, and Jerry [Robb] has been beside me for my ups and downs, and he has put me on the map again,” Perez said. “I’ve been riding for him for three years now, and he trusts me, and I trust him and hopefully it stays like this for a long time.”

One race later, Jaxon Traveler remained undefeated with a victory in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Futurity. But after two facile scores to start his career, this one was a struggle.

Under jockey Johan Rosado, the Steve Asmussen-trained son of Munnings went right to the lead and fended off a dead game Singlino to score by three parts of a length. It was well back to the rest, though the running time of 1:25.07 was a touch slower than that recorded by the fillies in the Juvenile Filly Championship.

Johan Rosado and Jaxon Traveler won the Maryland Juvenile Futurity. Photo by Jerry Dzierwinski.

Jaxon Traveler’s first two wins had come by a combined total of 14 lengths. Though this field was fairly lightly accomplished – Singlino, winner of Delaware’s First State Dash, was the only runner with a stakes win to his name – it nevertheless provided a sterner test for Jaxon Traveler than had his maiden and allowance scores.

Dawn Lenart of West Point Thoroughbreds, which with Marvin Delfiner owns Jaxon Traveler, suggested that the one-mile Jerome at Aqueduct or seven-furlong Spectacular Bid at Laurel may be logical next spots.

The win today likely secures Jaxon Traveler the title of top Maryland-bred juvenile of 2020. He has $120.762 in earnings from his three wins to date.

Jaxon Traveler was bred in Maryland by Dr. & Mrs. A. Leonard Pineau.

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