Water Cannon Fires Best in Private Terms

(from Laurel report)
Water Cannon put visions of the Preakness squarely in the minds of those who watched the Maryland-bred gelding trounce a field of six 3-year-olds in this afternoon's $60,000 Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park.

Sent to post as the 4-5 favorite, Water Cannon trumped his impressive victory in the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel. The gray Waquoit gelding stalked a tepid pace, fired up after the pacesetter and then blasted by Mahican to take command. He finished under wraps in 1:45 2/5 for the nine-furlong test, which is only a 1/16th of a mile shy of the Preakness distance.

Acclimate took second. Major Tanner was third.

"This went pretty easily and it was a little unexpected as far a race goes," said jockey Ramon Dominguez. "He broke a little flat-footed but he didn't panic."

It was the fourth straight win for the Linda Albert trainee, all since the Bowie-based conditioner added blinkers to her runner.

"Early in his career I had thought about putting blinkers on, but most everyone that rode him thought he just needed some time to develop," Albert said.

She said Water Cannon will likely run next in the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico on April 17.

"We just want to place him where we think it's best for him to win," added Albert. "He's really still developing physically. Waquoit progeny generally run longer and take a while to develop. You can't help but get excited about the way he performed today."

Water Canyon paid $3.80, $2.40 and $2.20. Acclimate returned $5.20 and $4. Major Ranner's show was $4.80. A $2 exacta was worth $18.40.

(Chart, Equibase)