Copper Tax Returns a Winner in $100,000 Private Terms

Determined Driver Easy Winner of $100,000 Beyond the Wire

LAUREL, MD – Rose Petal Stable’s Copper Tax rediscovered his winning form in his return to Laurel Park, coming with a relentless drive through the stretch and emerge from a three-way photo finish a neck ahead of Inveigled in Saturday’s $100,000 Private Terms.

The 35th running of the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms is the next step in Laurel’s series of stakes for 3-year-olds following the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 24 and preceding the $125,000 Federico Tesio going 1 1/8 miles April 20, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

Ridden by J.G. Torrealba, his second winner of the day, Copper Tax ($6.60) crossed the wire in 1:46.38 over a sloppy and sealed main track for his third stakes victory and first since the James F. Lewis III last November, his last time racing at Laurel.

Since then the bay son of Copper Bullet ran sixth over a muddy Aqueduct track in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2), a race where another horse stepped on the back of his foot, and then was 10th in the 1 1/16-mile Sam F. Davis (G3) Feb. 10 at Tampa Bay Downs. Copper Tax was entered but scratched from the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 24 to await the Private Terms.

“The plan was definitely [to run] here,” Rose Petal’s Chris Loso said. “He had a couple of, I don’t want to say bad trips as much as bad circumstances. Getting bumped in his other races and getting clipped in the hoof and so forth. I think this is great to come back home and win it here.”

Copper Tax settled in fifth early on as Speedyness, front-running winner of the Miracle Wood, broke alertly and went an opening quarter-mile in 23.51 seconds tracked to his outside by Miracle Wood runner-up Point Dume, while Inveigled – beaten a neck by Copper Tax in the James Lewis – raced in the clear in third.

Torrealba swung Copper Tax to the center of the track rounding the far turn and straightened for home trailing the top four that included Startswithadream, fourth in the Miracle Wood, after six furlongs went in 1:12.90. Copper Tax continued to make up ground and steadily reeled in the leaders to get edge clear at the wire.

“Very good race,” Loso said. “I think he settled down well coming out of the one hole. Halfway through he was falling a little bit back and I got a little bit nervous there, but on the final turn he was able to get right in the middle there and had a space to open up. He really opened it up on that last turn and coming into the homestretch. It was amazing.”

Inveigled was a head in front of Speedyness, with 2023 Maryland Juvenile winner Circle P another two lengths back in fourth. Startswithadream, Speed Runner, Point Dume, Celtic Contender and I Know Map completed the order of finish.

Copper Tax was one of five Triple Crown-nominated horses in the Private Terms. He started seven times at 2, putting together a five-race win streak between June and November capped by the Rocky Run at Delaware Park and James Lewis. Trainer Gary Capuano previously won the Private Terms in 2021 with Shackled Love.

Private Terms raced in the colors of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Janney’s Locust Hill Farm, winning 12 races, nine stakes and more than $1.2 million from 1987-89 including the 1988 Federico Tesio (G3) and Wood Memorial (G1) and 1989 Mass Cap (G2). His track record of 1:47 1/5 in winning the 1989 Never Bend Handicap at Pimlico still stands. He sired Grade 1-winning millionaires Soul of the Matter and Afternoon Deelites.

Determined Driver Easy Winner of $100,000 Beyond the Wire

D Hatman Thoroughbreds’ Determined Driver, twice stakes-placed in her first four starts, broke through with a dominant and popular 12 ½-length victory under jockey Forest Boyce in the $100,000 Beyond the Wire.

The 36th renewal of the Beyond the Wire is followed in Laurel’s series of stakes for 3-year-old fillies by the $100,000 Weber City Miss going 1 1/16 miles April 20, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2), celebrating its 100th anniversary May 17 at Pimlico.

Phil Schoenthal-trained Determined Driver ($4.20), sent off as the even-money favorite in a field of five following the early scratch of Parx shipper Patricia Ann, completed one mile in 1:39.68 over a sloppy and sealed main track for her third win from five races and first in a stakes.

“It went way better than I thought I would. You never expect them to win by that much in stakes company, so I’m very pleased with her,” Boyce said. “Every race she’s shown up, and Phil does an incredible job getting them ready.”

Kissedbyanangel, the 2023 Maryland Juvenile Filly winner, set the pace from her rail post, posting splits of 24.29 and 48.10 seconds pressed by Aoife’s Magic, a two-time stakes winner against Pennsylvania-breds last year. Boyce and Determined Driver were alone in third, rolled up to the lead on the far outside leaving the far turn, and extended her advantage down the lane. Kissedbyanangel held second, 1 ½ lengths ahead of Aoife’s Magic, followed by Kiss for Luck and Go Sherry Go.

“She’s not a very large filly but she covers a lot of ground. She’s got a massive heart,” Boyce said. “Today she warmed up really well and she just took me there the whole race, so you can’t argue with that.”

Determined Driver, bred in Maryland by 2500 Determined Stud, ran twice at 2 finishing second to multiple stakes winner Sweet Soddy J when facing males in the Timonium Juvenile ast fall. She opened this year winning a six-furlong optional claiming allowance Feb. 9 before running second behind another multiple stakes winner, Miss Harriett, in the seven-furlong Wide Country Feb. 24.

Run as the Caesar’s Wish through 2017, the Beyond the Wire was renamed to recognize the founding of an industry-wide initiative between the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Maryland jockeys to facilitate safe and enriching placements for retired Maryland-based racehorses.

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