Nick Canani Gets First Maryland Win for Gill

It didn't take long for trainer Nick Canani to win his first race in Maryland for owner Michael Gill. In Wednesday's fourth race at Laurel, Expect The Best scored as the third mount the trainer saddled in the state.

The 29-year old was hired earlier this month to condition 60 horses for the nation's leading owner at the Bowie Training Center.

"I had a lot of nice horses for Everest Stables (noted California owner-breeder), but Mike made me an offer I couldn't refuse," said Canani, who saddled Island Fashion to victory in the Delaware Oaks (gr. III) on July 19. "It is a lot of work when you have that many horses but we have nice horses and we'd like to keep winning races. It's a very good operation to work for."

Jerry Robb trains 40 horses for Gill at Laurel Park, while Mark Shuman and Gamaliel Vazquez will take another 40 from a Pennsylvania farm to Florida after Labor Day.

Gill horses have visited the winners' circle 71 times at Laurel Park and Pimlico in 2003.

Canani, the son of Southern California-based conditioner Julio Canani, has won 10 of 63 starts this year.