Never Nevermore Runs Streak to Three in Opening Day Feature

Never Nevermore Runs Streak to Three in Opening Day Feature

Global Citizen Continues Resurgence as Spring Meet Kicks Off
Rainbow 6, Super Hi-5 Carryovers for Saturday’s Nine-Race Card

LAUREL, MD – Standing Rock Farm’s Never Nevermore put away favored Sparty after dueling early, lost the lead briefly in mid-stretch but dug in again and surged past Martini Kid for a 1 ¼-length victory in Friday’s opening day feature at Laurel Park.

A nine-race program featuring two legs of the national Stronach 5 wager helped Laurel kick off its 19-day spring meet, which runs through Sunday, May 5 and serves as a prelude to the Preakness Meet at Pimlico, set to open Thursday, May 9.

Racing first off the claim for trainer Lacey Gaudet, Never Nevermore ($6.60) remained perfect this year in running his win streak to three races, the first two for New York-based trainer David Donk, who lost him for a $14,000 tag following an 8 ½-length romp going 1 1/8 miles Feb. 18 at Aqueduct.

Never Nevermore and Johan Rosado had the advantage on 3-5 favorite Sparty through fractions of 23.97 and 47.09 seconds before edging away, only to have Martini Kid slip up an opening on the inside and forge a short lead after six furlongs in 1:12.64. Under Rosado’s urging, Never Nevermore retook the top spot after going seven-eighths in 1:25.11, and finished up the one-mile Maryland-bred/sired allowance for 3-year-olds and up in 1:38.15 over a fast main track.

“He’s a big, pretty horse. He’s gorgeous,” Gaudet’s mother and assistant, Linda Gaudet, said. “And he’s trained super here. We were pretty confident today. My jock didn’t see the horse on the inside, so I was a little worried, but he’s trained very, very well since he’s been here. We’ll give him a little time to rest and recuperate and look for an open a-other-than, but we’re real pleased with this.”

Two races later, Sagamore Farms’ 4-year-old homebred Global Citizen continued his career resurgence with a hard-fought head triumph over Halite in an open, seven-furlong starter optional claimer for 3-year-olds and up. The winning time was 1:23.91.

A Maryland-bred son of To Honor and Serve out of the Tiznow mare Tizthen, Global Citizen ($2.60) was favored at 1-5 in the field of six, and gave Laurel’s winter meet champion Trevor McCarthy his second riding victory of the day.

Global Citizen has been first or second in all five of his starts, three of them wins, since being gelded last summer and having trainer Horacio DePaz remove the blinkers for his return to competition in the fall. His two runner-up finishes came by less than a length combined, including a similar spot last out March 23.

“He’s been doing well. We gelded him and took the blinkers off; the blinkers didn’t do him any justice. He’s coming around good as an older horse,” DePaz said. “He’s a Maryland-bred and he still has the Maryland-bred a-other-than and the open a-other-than, as well, so we’re just going to knock out some conditions with him and let him develop. It was a quick turnaround with him, two weeks, so we’ll freshen him up right now and try to campaign him this summer.”

Global Citizen captured his debut last winter at Laurel and was second in the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct, followed by four disappointing efforts, two on the Churchill Downs turf. On Friday, he did all the work up front through fractions of 23.26 and 46.42 seconds and 1:11.09, and had to withstand a furious late rush from Halite on his outside to register the narrow victory.

“He won first time out and ran nice in the stakes race, and I still think he could like turf, so that’s a possibility down the line,” DePaz said. “If we have a rainy season like last year and it comes off the turf he can run on the dirt.”

Notes: In addition to Global Citizen, McCarthy also won the spring meet’s first race aboard Jamie Ness-trained Untruthful Sonnet ($4) … There will be carryovers of $4,791.38 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 4-9) and $1,114.08 in the $1 Super Hi-5 (Race 1) for Saturday’s nine-race program, which begins at 1:10 p.m. Multiple tickets with all six winners in the Rainbow 6 each returned $534.58 … Laurel is hosting Decanter Reimagined presented by the Maryland Wineries Association from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tasting passes are available for $35 while brunch tickets, which include a tasting pass, are $85. Click here for tickets and more information