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LAUREL, MD – Euro Stable’s Lebda showed why he was sent off as the even-money favorite, clearing away easily before being ridden out late in Saturday’s $100,000 Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park.
Breaking from post 2 under Alex Cintron, Lebda tipped out into the 2 path heading into the clubhouse turn after Took Charge crossed over and produced kickback on the lead. Running several lengths in the clear all on his lonesome, Took Charge posted opening fractions of :23.72 and :48.36.
Tackling the pacesetter as they hit the 1/4 pole, Lebda began advancing off of the far turn, then straightened for home and shot off like a rocket. Continuing to clear away under a hand ride, the Claudio Gonzalez trainee eventually crossed 4 1/4 lengths clear in a final time of 1:44.87 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“He’s so nice,” Cintron said. “On the backside, I had to let him run a little bit because I had (someone) coming to me, and then when I opened up on that horse, I just settled again. When I asked him to take off again, he really moved forward.”
My Friends Beer was able to outlast Mine Not Mine by a 1/2-length at the wire. Took Charge, Big City Bob, and Awesome Party completed the order of finish. Amen Corner was scratched.
Lebda’s win was his second straight, having taken the Miracle Wood Stakes here on February 15, to improve his overall record to 8-4-1-2. The 3-year-old son of Raison d’Etat, purchased for $100,000 last December but kept under Gonzalez’s care, has now earned $214,525 lifetime.
“We’re yet to find out (how good he is), but today he answered a big question,” Gonzalez’s assistant trainer Troy Singh said. “The question was whether he could get two turns. Today was a big question and Alex gave him a perfect ride. He got him to settle and he got him home.”
Lebda returned $4.20 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.20 to show. My Friends Beer brought back $8.60 to place and $4 to show, while Mine Not Mine paid $2.60 to show.
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