LAUREL: BOLD LEADER SCORES AT SECOND ASKING
Bold Leader had three things working against him in his debut August 21: a six-furlong distance that was perhaps too short; a sluggish break that left him too much to do; and the presence of H P Moon, one of the most impressive juveniles to race in Maryland this year.
Getting rid of all of those proved to be the recipe for success for Bold Leader September 19 at Laurel Park, when he powered to a two-length score in a one-mile maiden event for two-year-olds.
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Bold Leader, a son of Keen Ice, gave trainer Mike Trombetta’s operation its seventh juvenile winner of 2021. Bold Leader is out of the Hook and Ladder mare Lenders Way and is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Lebda. He was a $100,000 yearling purchase by Marc Tacher, who races as Sonata Stable.
In today’s contest, Bold Leader broke well to sit third in the early going, a couple of lengths behind Bust’em Kurt, the 3-5 favorite who battled on the front end with longshot Shake Em Loose.
That arrangement enabled jockey Julian Pimentel to give Bold Leader a perfect stalking trip as the leaders slugged it out through a half-mile in 48.76 seconds over a fast main track. Bust’em Kurt disposed of his pace rival, but Bold Leader soon tipped out to engage the leader.
By the furlong grounds, Bold Leader had the momentum and went on to win by two, with Bust’em Kurt holding second, five clear of Shake Em Up in third. Running time for the one-turn mile was 1:39.09.
“He got a beautiful trip,” said Tana Verge, Trombetta’s Laurel-based assistant. “[Pimentel] rode him very confidently. He just kind of sat there, and when he gave him his cue, he went on with it.”
It probably didn’t hurt Bold Leader’s cause, Verge acknowledged, that Bust’em Kurt stumbled badly leaving the gate.
“He fell on his head coming out of the gate,” she said. “It probably would have been [closer] if that one hadn’t stumbled.”
The race stood in stark contrast to Bold Leader’s debut. That day, he broke a bit slowly and quickly dropped to last place. He ran on willingly in the six-furlong contest and got up late for the place spot. But he was nearly 10 lengths behind the Lacey Gaudet-trained H P Moon.
“He’s a buzzsaw,” Verge said of the winner. “He’s a buzzsaw.”
H P Moon has not raced since that debut victory but did breeze a half-mile in 47 ⅗ seconds September 5. That was the fastest of 36 works at the distance.
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