After Heros Reward's aggressive front-running win in the $200,000 Scotts Highlander Stakes (Can-III), Maryland-based trainer Dale Capuano must be wondering why he would leave Woodbine, where his 6-year-old gelding has banked more than $460,000 in earnings in three starts on the turf.
The ultra-consistent Heros Reward took command in the stretch and held on late to record his first graded stakes score in the $500,000 Nearctic (Can-II) on the Woodbine turf course Oct. 21.
Favored Heros Reward notched his fourth successive win when he carried jockey Edgar Prado to a one-length victory in the $100,000 Baltimore City Turf Sprint in the first of eight stakes on the Preakness Stakes card at Pimlico Saturday.
The 21st Maryland Million, a festive homecoming for Marylanders and the offspring of Maryland sires, attracted 117 entrants to the twelve race program to be presented Saturday at Laurel Park.
Cherokee's Boy, a graded stakes winner and millionaire who has won or placed in 28 stakes, will enter stud at Maryland Stallion Station near Glyndon, Md.
David Menard and Richard Shultz' Celestial Legend, the winner of six of eight starts, is the 120-pound top weight and likely favorite in the Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III) Friday at Pimlico Race Course.
Little Thunder, a winner of five races since being claimed for $16,000 by Dale Capuano last October at Laurel, brings his superb form to Belmont Park for the track's opening day $100,000 Westchester Handicap (gr. III) Wednesday.
Undefeated in six starts, Celestial Legend puts her streak on the line in the $100,000-added Cicada (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs at Aqueduct.
Carey Miller's unbeaten Great Seneca lived up to top billing as he pounded out an impressive victory in the $75,000 Dancing Count Stakes for 3-year-olds at Laurel Park.
Despite missing 48 of the 195 racing days at Pimlico and Laurel Park this year, Ryan Fogelsonger won more races than any rider in the colony did with 144 victories, two ahead of Luis Garcia. The 24-year-old also nipped Garcia for the Laurel fall title, 63-62.
After winning all her preliminary bouts, Celestial Legend goes into the main event as the overwhelming 7-5 morning line choice to win the $75,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship, scheduled as the sixth race on Monday at Laurel Park.
Z W P Stable's Cherokee's Boy took command from the start in winning the $150,000 Salvator Mile (gr. III) at Monmouth Park on Sunday by 1 1/4 lengths.
Z W P Stable's front-running Cherokee's Boy won the $100,600 Brandywine Handicap at Delaware Park Saturday.
Ryan Fogelsonger, thrown in has last race at Laurel Park, returned to action March 10 after missing three racing days and won with his first and only mount.
Rush To Glory won Saturday's $50,000 Marshua Stakes at Pimlico Race Course by way of disqualification.
Although racing in Maryland faces an uncertain future, one thing is clear, according to Frank Stronach, head of the company that controls the Maryland Jockey Club: The Preakness will remain at Pimlico.
The decisive victory by Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the race for Maryland governor brought immediate smiles to the face of Maryland horsemen.
Travis Dunkelberger, who has won seven races on a card twice in his riding career, captured five wins Thursday at Pimlico, including four of the final five races.
Prized Stamp, sent off at nearly 18-1, rallied from last in the six-horse field to win Saturday's $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park, ending the multiple stakes winning streaks of California-shipper Nany's Sweep and Maryland-bred Gin Talking in the process.
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