Kenny Had a Notion
Kenny Had a Notion (inside) edged Maythehorsebwithu in the Spectacular Bid. Photo Maryland Jockey Club.

Kenny Had a Notion and Maythehorsebwithu, separated by a neck following a stretch-long duel in the Spectacular Bid last month, will hook up again as the primary challengers in Saturday’s $100,000 Miracle Wood at Laurel Park.

The 26th running of the one-mile Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds and the 28th renewal of the $100,000 Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies are among six stakes, two graded, worth $900,000 on the nine-race Winter Sprintfest program, undergirded by two Grade 3 sprints, the Barbara Fritchie and the General George.

First race post time is 12:25 p.m. The Miracle Wood will kick off the stakes action in Race 3 (1:23 p.m.).

The Miracle Wood will be the third meeting between Kenny Had a Notion and Maythehorsebwithu dating back to the First State Dash last September at Delaware Park, where they ran sixth and second, respectively.

Since then, Louis Ulman and Neil Glasser’s Kenny Had a Notion won the 5 ½-furlong Jamestown over Laurel’s world-class turf course and the six-furlong Maryland Million Nursery on dirt – one of four wins on the program for sire Great Notion – before running sixth in the James F. Lewis III and emerging with a displaced palate that required minor surgery.

Stretched out to seven furlongs for his two most recent starts, Kenny Had a Notion capped his juvenile campaign running second by a neck to James Lewis winner No Cents before his thrilling battle with Maythehorsebwithu in the Spectacular Bid.

“He’s pretty game and he’s going into this well. He worked good the other day so we’ll stretch him out another eighth and see if he can get another eight against these horses,” trainer Dale Capuano said. “I think that he can do it. He sure seems like it. Until he does it you don’t know for sure, but all indications are he could go at least another eighth of a mile, I think. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.”

Kenny Had a Notion broke running in the Spectacular Bid, briefly losing the lead entering the stretch, but surged again along the rail for his third career stakes win. Jorge Ruiz, aboard for all three races, gets the return call from Post 5 in a field of seven.

“He has a lot of speed so I would assume that he’ll probably in front again. We’ll have to see if he can carry his speed that far, really,” Capuano said. “He came out of his race good so he’s ready to go again. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see how he runs and how he comes out of it and then we’ll decide what we’ll do with him after this. But we have options.”

Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables’ Maythehorsebwithu is the narrow 2-1 program favorite in the Miracle Wood over Kenny Had a Notion (5-2). Trained by Brittany Russell, the gelded son of 2009 Whitney (G1) winner Bullsbay has been sent to post as the favorite in each of his last three starts.

Maythehorsebwithu breezed a half-mile Feb. 6 in 48 1/5 seconds. In his most recent start, January 16, he was a near-miss second in the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes at Laurel behind Kenny Had a Notion.

“He’s wonderful,” Russell said of Maythehorsebwithu. “I like that horse a lot.”

The Bullsbay gelding won at first asking in July but lost his next three starts. He seems, however, to have taken a step forward of late, winning an allowance contest December 11 and then running well in the Spectacular Bid.

“He’s starting to act slightly more professional. He’s always been kind of a boy,” Russell noted. “It’s time he took that step forward to be a man.”

Klaravich Stables’ Subsidize ships in from New York where he was a 3 ½-length maiden special weight winner Jan. 7 at Aqueduct in his fourth career start and first at 3. Victor Carrasco, who missed time recently with a minor toe injury, will ride for trainer Chad Brown from outside Post 7.

Kathleen and Robert Verratti’s Silent Service was a front-running 6 ¾-length debut winner Jan. 22 at Laurel for trainer Mike Trombetta, whose first of four career Miracle Wood wins came in 2006 with Sweetnorthernsaint, who would go on to win the Illinois Derby (G3), run seventh as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and second in the Preakness (G1). Silent Service is also entered in a 6 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance Friday at Laurel.

Rounding out the field are Tiz Mandate, most recently fourth in the Spectacular Bid; multiple stakes-placed Newyearsblockparty, second last out in the seven-furlong Pasco Jan. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs; and The King Cheek.