Laurel: Dawnland surges to maiden win

Dawnland slipped through inside under Jevian Toledo to break her maiden at Laurel Park. Photo Jim McCue.

Dawnland’s debut, as a two-year-old last August, wasn’t bad. But her follow-up, trainer Brittany Russell admitted, was “an absolute clunker.”

She added, “We’re like, you know what, she’s a big filly. Let’s just wait – wait until she can get Lasix next year. Let’s just give her some time.”

That appears to be just what the doctor ordered.

Under jockey Jevian Toledo, Dawnland stalked the pace, scooted through along the rail, and wore down pace-setting favorite Senson to score by 1 ½ lengths and earn her diploma in maiden special weight company April 1 at Laurel Park. Dawnland, a daughter of Jimmy Creed, now has a win from three starts and earnings of $35,140.

Dawnland made her debut at Colonial Downs Aug. 24 and ran well enough, but that turned out to be a tough spot for a debut. Running time for the six furlongs was a sharp 1:09.89; winner Luna Belle has gone on to win four consecutive stakes – and counting – while show horse Beverly’s Charge won two straight immediately following.

In Dawnland’s follow-up, Sept. 22 at Delaware Park, though, she finished a well-beaten fourth at odds of 8-5, prompting Russell and owners Karl and Cathi Glassman to give her the rest of the year off.

She’d been training well towards her seasonal bow here, though, and bettors gave her a solid endorsement, making her the 9-2 third choice in the six-horse field.

“As a two-year-old, she always worked good, but maybe she was a little on the clunky side,” Russell said. “Now she’s grown up, and she has a racier way about her.”

It was Russell’s first win since returning from Dubai, where her trainee Wondrwherecraigis finished 10th of 13 in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen March 26.

“It was amazing – it was really cool,” Russell said of the experience. “We’re really proud of the horse for taking us over there. And he came back in good order, so that’s what really matters; that’s the important thing.”

The five-year-old Wondrwherecraigis had crossed the wire first in five consecutive starts prior to the Golden Shaheen. That streak included a win in the G3 Bold Ruler at Belmont Park last Oct. 31 and a start in the G3 Frank De Francis Memorial Dash in which he crossed first but was disqualified and placed second after interfering with a rival.

Wondrwherecraigis will get some down time, Russell said, before returning to training. But there’s no rush, and no target in mind.

“We’ll just get him back in and just let him take his time and see where he takes us,” she said. “I don’t really think we’re going to target anything until we get him back in and see what we’re dealing with.”

NOTES Jockey Jevian Toledo and trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon started the spring meet with style. They teamed up to win the first race with Silent Malice, and each won another race on the card… With the change to the spring meet, three-year-olds now are able to race against their elders, and Click to Confirm took advantage, winning a Maryland-restricted allowance for Sanchez-Salomon and jockey Angel Cruz. They were up late over post-time favorite Mit Mazel, who led most of the way but drifted out wide in the lane…