Whereshetoldmetogo scores in Laurel allowance

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Looking every bit the veteran of 14 prior wins, 11 of them in stakes, Madaket Stables, Ten Strike Racing, Michael Kisber and BTR Racing, Inc.’s Whereshetoldmetogo overpowered six rivals to pick up No. 15 with a popular 3 ½-length triumph in Friday’s feature at Laurel Park.

With Jevian Toledo up for trainer Brittany Russell, Whereshetoldmetogo ($3.40) ran six furlongs in 1:11.39 over a fast main track for his eighth win from 11 lifetime tries at Laurel. An objection from Bryson Butterfly, the rider of runner-up Karan’s Notion, for interference in the stretch was quickly dismissed.

The third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up marked a rare non-stakes appearance for Whereshetoldmetogo, a 7-year-old gelding bred in Maryland by David Wade that had run in 15 consecutive stakes dating back to Nov. 7, 2019 – a span of 905 days.

Russell credited agent Marty Leonard, who represents Toledo and Russell’s husband, injured jockey Sheldon Russell, as well as spring meet-leading rider, apprentice Jeiron Barbosa, with coming to her about Friday’s spot. Whereshetoldmetogo qualified for the spot because his two wins since the October 29 cutoff date both were in state-restricted company.

“It was kind of by luck,” she said. “Marty said, ‘You know, I think this horse is eligible for this race.’ We were, like, hopefully it goes, and it worked out great.”

Breaking from outermost Post 7, Toledo positioned Whereshetoldmetogo in the clear down the backstretch as Pictor, himself a 12-time winner including three of four starts this year, took the group through a quarter-mile in 22.41 seconds pressed by Karan’s Notion, the 2020 Maryland Million Sprint winner.

Karan’s Notion had worked his way to the front midway around the far turn but Toledo and Whereshetoldmetogo were moving easily on the far outside and forged a short lead approaching the stretch after a half in 46.26. Toledo set Whereshetoldmetogo down for a drive once straightened for home and opened up through the lane, clearing Karan’s Notion before dropping down toward the inside.

Karan’s Notion held second by a nose over late-running Kadri, with multiple stakes winner Eastern Bay fourth. They were followed by Pictor, stakes winner Amundson and Hunter Joe.

“We’re just trying to keep this horse winning. If the stakes cycle back in, like, four weeks, it always just seems like he needs another week or so,” Russell said. “And not that he doesn’t seem like he’s training well, but if you look at his form when you give him that extra week or so, it just shows.”

Sold for $7,000 as a yearling in 2016, the Maryland-bred Whereshetoldmetogo improved his record to 15-5-3 in 34 lifetime starts and pushed his bankroll to $835,295. He has won at least one stake in five of his six years of racing, the exception coming in 2019 when he made just four starts.

Whereshetoldmetogo has won a stake at Gulfstream Park, three at Delaware Park and seven at Laurel, including his most recent in the March 19 Not For Love against fellow Maryland-bred/sired horses. He was also second by a neck to Grade 1 winner Firenze Fire in the 2018 Gallant Bob (G3) at Parx.

“Just keep him happy and spacing his races. He’s quite easy to train now that we’ve kind of figured him out,” Russell said. “He’s an older horse now and he’s still running. He still likes to do it. And, he’s massive. When he stepped on that scale today, I was afraid he was too heavy.”

For the record, Whereshetoldmetogo checked in at 1,207 pounds before the race, 33 fewer than he carried in the Not For Love.

“He grows in front of you when you’re trying to put the tack on him,” Russell said.

Russell said the connections won’t be in any rush to find a next spot for Whereshetoldmetogo, now with nine wins from 20 starts sprinting six furlongs. 

“He’s Delaware-certified and he likes Delaware Park, too, so we’re going to kind of look and see what’s around,” Russell said. “The point was kind of to run him here and then he’ll have the month and then we’ll just sort of regroup.