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Maythehorsebwithu with Sheldon Russell up. Photo by Jerry Dzierwinski.

Timing is everything in life, and for Maythehorsebewithu, the timing couldn’t be better.

The sophomore Bullsbay gelding earned his first stakes victory in today’s $100,000 Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park, seemed to love the added ground of today’s race, and opened up a world of possibilities for himself and his connections.

The Brittany Russell trainee went off as the 1.90-1 second choice in the Miracle Wood but ran like a 4-5 shot. Under jockey Sheldon Russell — Brittany Russell’s husband — Maythehorsebwithu broke alertly to grab the early lead. Russell nursed his mount along nicely through moderate fractions — 47.51 for the half-mile, 1:12.19 for three-quarters — while maintaining a clear advantage.

In the lane, he drew away when asked, cruising to a four-length victory while stopping the timer in 1:37.02. The late-running Tiz Mandate rallied from a different zip code — he was 15 lengths in arrears after just a quarter-mile — to be second, a half-length better than favored Kenny Had a Notion in third.

“My horse broke very sharp today and he’s a forward kind of horse,” Sheldon Russell said. “Last time I sort of broke on Kenny’s hip. But the way my guy broke today I had no choice. I was inside Kenny. We didn’t have any problems with this horse getting the distance. He trains in the morning like he’ll run all day. I’m just glad we got the job done.”

The result represented an impressive reversal of January’s seven-furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes, when Kenny Had a Notion pipped Maythehorsebwithu after a long duel.

“He’s the kind of horse in the morning that he always trains very forwardly, can’t get this horse tired, and he always has big huge gallop outs after his races, so we were pretty confident that he would appreciate added distance,” Brittany Russell said. “I was confident that if he got the right trip, he could, he could definitely get the mile.”

Maythehorsebwithu paid $5.80 to win and topped an exacta that returned $14.00 for a dollar.

Maythehorsebwithu now has three wins from seven starts, and the winner’s share pushes his career earnings past the $150,000 mark.

The Pennsylvania-bred was a $55,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale in 2019 and is owned by Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables LLC. He was bred by Beatrice Patterson and Vicky Schowe and is a half-sibling to graded winner Call Paul and stakes winner Pink Caddy.

The Miracle Wood is the kickoff of the Maryland route to the Preakness. Next up is the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms March 13 and then the nine-furlong Federico Tesio in April. The latter is a “win and you’re in” race for the Preakness.