Zabracadabra makes Laurel allowance rivals disappear

Zabracadabra has run some good races and, well, some other races in his career. Saturday at Laurel Park was one of the good ones.

Under jockey Carlos Lopez, Zabracadabra parlayed a perfect trip into an easy, 4 1/4-length victory in the day’s feature, a third-level allowance going a flat mile on the main track. The win was his fifth in 19 career starts and pushed him past the $200,000 mark in earnings.

“He runs some really good races, and then he kind of tails off,” said Gary Capuano, who trains the winner for Frank Sample. “We give him a little time, and he comes back and he runs some big races.”

One of the big ones came last out whne the Harbor the Gold gelding ran second against similar here, finishing just 1 ¼ lengths behind winner Plot the Dots. But even that didn’t necessarily suggest the kind of outing he would deliver today.

Zabracadabra broke alertly to sit second behind the breakaway speed of Monday Morning Qb, who doled out sharp fractions by himself. zipping the opening quarter-mile in 23.42 seconds and the half in 46.37.

“He likes this one-turn mile, which a lot of horses don’t like,” Capuano said. “He got a good triip, and Lopez rode him perfect.”

Zabracadabra surged to the lead and was more than a length clear as he reached the quarter-pole. From there, it was pretty much over, as he lengthened his advantage. Monday Morning Qb faded from the scene to finish sixth of seven, while Penn National shipper Iywaan was a clear second, well clear of show horse Southern District. Running time on a main track rated good was 1:36.38.

Zabracadabra won an allowance at Laurel Park. Photo by Jim McCue.

“He looked like he had plenty of horse turning for home,” Capuano said. “But going to the second wire, you’re always looking for somebody coming late. It was a big race.”

The win was Zabracadabra’s second from seven seasonal outings and exhausts the conditions typically available. That’s a pretty good outcome for a Washington-bred whom Sample purchased for $22,000 as a yearling.

But it also means future steps likely will be more challenging yet.

“He’s been real good, and he’s running against some good horses now,” Capuano said. “He’s going to have to step up a little bit, but he’s running with stakes caliber horses now.”

Zabracadabra paid $8.00 to win as the second choice. The exacta, with 7-1 Iywaan in second, returned $36.80 on a one-dollar wager.

Capuano said he didn’t know what might be next for his charge, but as long as the horse is in good condition and the winter track holds up, he figures to keep him active. And he likes where he’s sitting.

“He’s a game horse,” the trainer said. “He’s a fighter.”