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LAUREL, MD – Separated by a neck as they crossed the wire in last month’s Spectacular Bid Stakes, an exciting rematch awaits the victorious Kenny Had a Notion and Maythehorsebwithu in Saturday’s Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park.
The Miracle Wood is a one-turn dirt mile restricted to 3-year-olds. This year’s edition is the third event on a 9-race card (which was delayed from last Saturday due to weather) and has a local post time of 1:23 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Miracle Wood:
1. Tiz Mandate 10/1 – He gives stakes action a third try after failing to hit the board in the Heft Stakes and the Spectacular Bid, both 7-furlong tests over the local course. The extra distance may benefit his late-running style, but he still has several lengths to make up on this field’s co-headliners. The good news is that his Beyer Speed Figures continue improving each start.
2. Newyearsblockparty 12/1 – He briefly held the lead in the Pasco Stakes last time out before ultimately surrendering and finishing second behind Nova Rags, who returned to finish second in last week’s Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3). He’s shown he can sit on or off the pace and should be primed to fire a career-best effort in the third start of his current form cycle.
3. The King Cheek 8/1 – He steps back up to the stakes ranks hoping to run better than the eighth-place effort he put forth in the Great White Way Stakes 2 starts back against fellow New York-breds. Both victories came gate to wire at Parx against lesser, but trainer Jamie Ness (who saddled 25% winners in 2020) has struggled so far this meet (31-2-4-5 record through Tuesday).
4. Maythehorsebwithu 2/1 – He may have held onto his narrow lead in the stretch run of the Spectacular Bid had jockey Sheldon Russell not lost his riding crop in the late stages. This Pennsylvania-bred has hit the exacta in 5 of 6 starts entering this event and should handle the added distance. Sheldon and his wife Brittany, who trains, win 37% of their shared mounts.
“He ran really hard last time,” Brittany Russell said. “I like this horse enough that I can see him jumping up and winning one of these races. I think he’ll like the mile, but you don’t know until you try. He trains in the morning like he’ll keep going, so I’m excited to see how the mile sets up for him.”
5. Kenny Had a Notion 5/2 – After missing by a neck in the Heft while fighting along the rail, he rebounded with another gutsy inside effort to win the Spectacular Bid. That was his third stakes success and first against open company after he easily beat local rivals in the Nursery and the Jamestown, the latter on turf. Jockey Jorge Ruiz’s record aboard him is 4-3-1-0, all stakes.
“He’s pretty game and he’s going into this well,” trainer Dale Capuano said. “He worked good the other day, so we’ll stretch him out another 1/8 (of a mile) and see if he can get another 1/8 against these horses. I think that he can do it. He sure seems like it.”
6. Silent Service 8/1 – He will reportedly scratch after competing in a local first-level optional claiming sprint on February 12, the day before this was originally scheduled.
7. Subsidize 3/1 – Four-time Eclise Award-winning trainer Chad Brown invades Laurel Park for the first time this meet with a horse who broke his maiden going 6 furlongs at Aqueduct last month. While he hasn’t raced farther than that yet, his breeding suggests that it shouldn’t be an issue, and he steadily improved his Beyer Speed Figures in each of his past 4 starts.
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