Copper Tax, Sweet Soddy J Head Spectacular Bid Nominations

Copper Tax, Sweet Soddy J Head Spectacular Bid Nominations

Multiple Stakes Winner Carmelina Tops Jan. 27 Xtra Heat Noms
Rodriguez, Russell Honored Sunday as Maryland’s 2023 Leaders

LAUREL, MD – Multiple stakes winners Copper Tax and Sweet Soddy J and last-out stakes winners Squints and Uncle Heavy are among 24 horses nominated to the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Saturday, Jan. 27 at Laurel Park.

The seven-furlong Spectacular Bid is the first stakes in Maryland’s series for newly turned 3-year-olds on the road to the 149th Preakness (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

The series continues with the $100,000 Miracle Wood going one-mile Feb. 24, $100,000 Private Terms at 1 1/16 miles March 23, and $125,000 Federico Tesio April 20. For the ninth straight year, the 1 1/8-mile Tesio will serve as a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the Preakness.

Copper Tax, who turned in a sharp half-mile breeze Jan. 12 at Laurel for trainer Gary Capuano, put together a five-race win streak including the one-mile Rocky Run in October at Delaware Park and six-furlong James F. Lewis III in November at Laurel before finishing sixth in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct to cap his juvenile season.

Sweet Soddy J won the Timonium Juvenile last fall and was a front-running six-length winner of Laurel’s seven-furlong Heft Dec. 30 before kicking off his sophomore season a week later when fifth in the one-mile Jerome at Aqueduct.

Florida-bred Squints has yet to race in open company, breaking his maiden in debut last fall and most recently drawing off to a 1 ¾-length triumph in the 6 ½-furlong Juvenile Sprint Nov. 11, both at Gulfstream Park. Uncle Heavy has raced exclusively at his home track of Parx, taking the one-mile, 70-yard Wait For It Dec. 27 against fellow Pennsylvania-breds.

Stakes-placed Agoo, Cool in Boue, Frankie’s Empire, Prado Road and Speedyness, and Guanare, a winner of two straight by 8 ½ combined lengths in New York for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., are also among the nominees.

Also on the Jan. 27 program is the $100,000 Xtra Heat sprinting six furlongs, Maryland’s first stakes for 3-year-old fillies en route to the 100th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 17 at Pimlico. It is followed by the $100,000 Wide Country going seven furlongs Feb. 24, $100,000 Beyond the Wire at one mile March 23 and $125,000 Weber City Miss April 20. The 1 1/16-mile Weber City Miss will again offer the winner automatic entry to the Black-Eyed Susan.

Cash is King and LC Racing’s Carmelina tops 17 Xtra Heat nominees. Based at Parx with trainer Robert E. ‘Butch’ Reid Jr., the daughter of Maximus Mischief is a three-time stakes winner, taking the five-furlong Keswick at Colonial Downs over the summer and the six-furlong Shamrock Rose and seven-furlong Gin Talking, the latter coming Dec. 30 at Laurel.

Kissedbyanangel, claimed by owner-trainer Joanne Shankle for $12,500 last fall, won the Maryland Juvenile Filly and was fifth in the Gin Talking before rallying to be third in the six-furlong Glitter Woman Jan. 7 at Gulfstream Park. Sheilahs Warcloud ran second in three straight races including the Maryland Juvenile Filly and Maryland Million Lassie, before beating winners in a one-mile optional claiming allowance Jan. 12 at Laurel.

Nine horses were nominated to the Xtra Heat off victories, among them a pair of debut winners for sire Bolt d’Oro – Dancing Diana, unraced since mid-June at Delaware for trainer James “Chuck” Lawrence II, and Heart, who romped by 4 ¾ lengths going six furlongs Dec. 29 at Laurel for Brittany Russell, Maryland’s overall leading trainer in 2023.

Entries will be taken and post positions drawn for both races Sunday, Jan. 21.

Notes: For the sixth consecutive racing day to start the winter Heritage Meet, jockey Jaime Rodriguez notched a multi-win day Sunday with victories on Full Irish ($4.80) in Race 5 and Miss Harriett ($3.40) in Race 7 … It was the second win in three starts for Miss Harriett, who upset the Maryland Million Lassie at 62-1 odds in her mid-October debut … Both Full Irish and My Flicker ($6) in Race 8 are trained by Lacey Gaudet … Five-pound apprentice Martina Rojas picked up career win No. 100 with Sullivan Street ($12.80) in Race 3 … Forest Boyce rode her 996th winner, Blue Trillion ($17.80), in Race 6 … Rodriguez and Brittany Russell were honored following Race 6 as Maryland’s leading jockey and trainer for 2023 … There will be carryovers of $4,744.48 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 4-9) and $3,964.56 in the $1 Jackpot Super High Five (Race 6) when live racing resumes Friday, Jan. 19.