Nick Papagiorgio surges to Find victory

Nick Papagiorgio came between horses at the head of the lane and surged past his rivals to win the $75,000 Find Stakes for Maryland-breds at Laurel Park. The win was the six-year-old gelding’s first in stakes company.

The Find represented a reunion of sorts, bringing together five horses who ran in last fall’s Maryland Million Turf. One of those, Cannon’s Roar, went off the tepid 3-1 favorite in an 11-horse field, while Turf winner Somekindofmagician went off at 5-1.

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Nick Papagiorgio was 13-1 at post time. But he was one of just two Turf starters to have a start this year, and while that start was nothing to write home about – a fifth-place finish in an allowance/optional claimer on the synthetic at Presque Isle Downs – it set him up nicely for the 1 1/16-mile Find on the turf.

With Horacio Karamanos up, Nick Papagiorgio won by a half-length over Somekindofmagician, who was a nose in front of B Determined. Audacious Quality made a strong late run to be fourth. Running time was 1:41.33 over firm turf.

Nick Papagiorgio paid $29.20 to win and topped an exacta that returned $117.40 for one dollar.

He is trained by Michael LeCesse for Louis Bisso, Jr. and now has 10 wins from 35 career starts and earnings of $312,080. A son of Outflanker, he was bred in Maryland by Cynthia Pence and Phil Spengler.

QUOTABLE

We put him in [an optional claimer at Presque Isle] and he got a little tired. I said this will set him up nice for the Maryland race [the Find]. He ran second last year. We want to try it again…

I think it just depends on who’s the freshest, who’s doing the best at the time. And we were lucky to have a race in him.

Winning trainer Michael LeCesse
  • Nick Papagiorgio won the Find Stakes. Photo by Jim McCue.

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