Robert Abbo Racing Stable’s Immortal Eyes, who just missed winning last year’s Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) after rating a bit early, will try again when the six-furlong event is held May 19 at Pimlico Race Course.
The Sprint Handicap attracted a field of 10, including supplemental entry Wildcat Brief. It’s the eighth race on a Preakness Stakes (gr. I) program that begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT.
Immortal Eyes, a 7-year-old Florida-bred gelding by Greatness, has been one of the quickest sprinters in the mid-Atlantic region, particularly at distances less than six furlongs. But after his effort in the 2011 Maryland Sprint Handicap, he raced three more times at six furlongs with success.
Immortal Eyes won the Chesapeake Stakes at Colonial Downs in a rapid 1:07.97; was a half-length shy of winning the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park; and finished a head behind Ravalo in the Six Bits Handicap at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. He then finished sixth after traveling to Florida for the grade III Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Immortal Eyes, trained by Damon Dilodovico, made his 2012 debut April 14 at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in the Webb Snyder Stakes. He rallied from just off the pace to win the 4 1/2-furlong event in a sharp :50.71 on a fast track.
Travis Dunkelberger, his regular rider, is named again in the Maryland Sprint Handicap at 116 pounds from post 1.
A 10-time winner with eight seconds and three thirds in 30 starts, Immortal Eyes will seek to crack the $500,000 mark in earnings. He enters the race off a couple of moderate works at his Bowie Training Center base.
GSP Stable’s Wildcat Brief broke from the gate in the May 12 Decathlon Stakes at Monmouth Park, but like most of the field never got a chance to run his race. He was pulled up after a pile-up entering the far turn and was one of five horses that didn’t finish the race.
Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. entered Wildcat Brief right back a week later in the Maryland Sprint Handicap, which will end up being his first full race of 2012. The 6-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Forest Wildcat seemed primed for his comeback with a series of nice works in New York before the Decathlon.
Ramon Dominguez gets the call at 116 pounds from post 4. Dominguez rode Wildcat Brief in his first two starts in the winter of 2008-09 in New York.
Ravalo, who drew the far outside post with John Velazquez aboard, is the 119-pound high weight. He won the Sprint Handicap in 2009 and finished third the following year. Lindy Redding's 8-year-old gelding has 17 victories in 49 trips to the post with earnings of more than $1.2 million
$100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III, Race 8, 3:12 p.m. EDT), 3YO & Up, 6 Furlongs
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1 Immortal Eyes (FL), T L Dunkelberger, 116, D R Dilodovico
2 Action Andy (MD), H Karamanos, 116, C A Garcia
3 Diski Dance (KY), A S Arroyo, 112, C A Lynch
4 Wildcat Brief (KY), R A Dominguez, 115, B W Perkins Jr.
5 Lay Line Force (KY), B Whitacre, 112, P McEntee
6 My Cuz C J (KY), M Franklin, 115, K M Cox
7 Hamazing Destiny (KY), C S Nakatani, 115, D W Lukas
8 Bandbox (NY), A Castellano Jr., 114, R Jenkins
9 Broad Rule (MD), F Boyce, 113, R W Small
10 Ravalo (KY), J R Velazquez, 119, D H Barr