Trainer Mike Trombetta had a very good afternoon at Laurel Park Jan. 25, winning the $100,000 Miracle Wood Stakes with Extrasexyhippzster then coming right back to take the $100,000 Native Dancer Stakes with Bold Curlin at the Maryland oval.
In the one-mile Miracle Wood, Kirwan Equine Group and Ed Hipps' Extrasexyhippzster waited behind traffic, pounded through an opening when the field straightened for home, and pulled away to an impressive score over five other 3-year-olds, completing the distance in 1:36.75 (VIDEO).
Ridden by jockey Julian Pimentel, the son of Stroll
won by 3 3/4 lengths while paying $8.40 as the third betting choice. Joint Custody
loomed an early threat but succumbed to the winner to finish second. Mr. Rover
rallied for third.
"Mike told me to sit behind those two horses and make my move when I thought the time was right," Pimentel said. "I did just what he said and when things opened up I made my move and he just took off and that was it."
Extrasexyhippzster finished fourth in the Marylander Stakes Dec. 7, then shipped to Aqueduct Racetrack
two weeks later and posted a convincing five-length win in the Don Rickles Stakes.
"This was huge today," Trombetta said. "I'm extremely pleased with this performance. You hope that everything turns out perfect the way a race develops but rarely does it.
"This was so impressive the way he rated behind all that speed. He was kind to Julian the whole way. When he found that spot at the top of the lane I was very impressed with the way he went forward. This time of the year you start trying them a little further to see if they're going to be able to get the longer distances and for me today he passed the test. I don't know where I'll run him back but the obvious is to continue to add distance and two turns."
Extrasexyhippzster was bred in Pennsylvania by Kirwan and Hipps out of the Freud mare Extra Sexy Psychic and now has a 3-0-1 record from five starts with earnings of $171,724.
Trombetta became a major player during the 2006 Triple Crown scene with Sweetnorthernsaint, the betting favorite in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and runner-up in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
In the Native Dancer, Harry and Tom Meyerhoff's Bold Curlin had to muscle his way between horses to make a path to the winners' circle (VIDEO
). Victor Carrasco, the recent winner of the 2013 Eclipse Award for outstanding apprentice rider, took his first stakes as a journeyman in the Native Dancer and marked the second stakes win of his career. The race marked the first stakes win for Bold Curlin, who paid $9.
"We broke okay and settled between horses," Carrasco said. "I just make sure I gave him a good trip. I just kept him moving and got pinched a little but when I was able to get the opening I put him in there and he went on."
The 4-year-old son of 2007 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin
completed the 1 1/16th-mile distance in 1:43.62. He won by two lengths over Indian Jones
and Managed Account
, who finished a nose apart for second.
"I originally went into this race to take a look because he's basically a three other than horse, but this time of year they don't fill very well," Trombetta said. "There were a couple of scratches (including morning line favorite Mail
) that worked in our favor. I told Victor we're probably one cut below the top ones but if everything goes just perfect we could win this. That was about as good a ride as you are going get. It was better than superb. He's a nice young man and I think he has a tremendous future ahead of him. This horse responded very well for him today."
Bred in Pennsylvania by Two Sisters' Farm out of the Ascot Knight mare To the Brim, Bold Curlin has a 4-2 record from 11 starts, with earnings of $156,675.
In two other stakes on the card, Commonwealth New Era Racing's Taris
sped away to an easy victory for trainer Todd Beattie and jockey Clinton Potts in the $100,000 Wide Country Stakes at seven furlongs over 3-year-old fillies, and Martin Scafidi's Winning Image
showed the way over older fillies and mares in the $100,000 What A Summer Stakes going six furlongs for trainer Michael Aro and jockey Tony Black.