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Father, Son Seek Sophomore Stakes Sweep at Laurel Park
Dreams Untold Targets $100,000 Miracle Wood for John Servis
Tyler Servis Sends Out Sunday Inn for $100,000 Wide Country
LAUREL, MD – Someday Farm’s homebred Dreams Untold, light on experience but loaded with talent, will make the jump from an impressive maiden victory to stakes competition for his third start in Saturday’s $100,000 Miracle Wood at Laurel Park.
The one-mile Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds and the $100,000 Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs are among five stakes, two graded, worth $800,000 in purses on a nine-race Winter Carnival program that includes the $100,000 John B. Campbell for older horses.
Serving as Winter Carnival co-headliners are the 68th running of the $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3) for fillies and mares 4 and older and the 44th renewal of the $250,000 General George (G3) for 4-year-olds and up, both at seven furlongs.
First race post time is 12:25 p.m.
In addition to live racing, Saturday’s program will include ice sculptures, ice carving demonstrations, ice wall with $2,500 in prizes, kids’ winter crafts and face painting, hot chocolate and coffee bar, special stakes buffet and a Maryland Jockey Club knit hat giveaway with program purchase, while supplies last.
Dreams Untold is one of three horses in the Miracle Wood that were among the early nominees to the Triple Crown. He is trained by John Servis, who won the 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) for Patricia Chapman’s Someday Farm with Smarty Jones, the sire of Dreams Untold. Chapman’s husband, Roy, passed away in 2006.
Chapman is also the breeder and owner of promising 3-year-old filly Sunday Inn, who Servis’ son, Tyler, will saddle in the Wide Country one race prior to the Miracle Wood.
“I nominated him for the Triple Crown with the Preakness in mind, not the Derby. He’s a gelding. It’s not like it’s going to change his life to try to get him to the Derby, and he doesn’t have the best conformation. He’s pretty crooked-legged so he doesn’t need that grind trying to get to the Derby,” Servis said. “I’m thinking as long as he’s doing good making the races we’ll probably stroll right through the Tesio and then if he’s doing good enough maybe try the Preakness. I mean, it is way ahead, but he’s trained like a really nice horse.”
Laurel’s 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio April 18 is a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 145th Preakness May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.
In his mid-November debut against fellow Pennsylvania-breds, Dreams Untold drew an inside post, was reluctant to load and ran an even third, beaten three lengths. He didn’t race again until making his 3-year-old debut Jan. 4, also at Parx, where despite being fractious in the gate, he got out to an early lead and kept going to win by 14 ¼ lengths.
“He can be a handful. We’ve schooled him probably eight times since his last race at the gate, just because he wants to be a handful to load all the time. But, he’s got a world of talent,” Servis said. “His last race was pretty good. To be honest with you, I was surprised he got beat the first time out. He showed he’s got a lot of talent but he got the one hole and he got stuck down inside and ran a little green. He came back and ran the way I thought he would run.”
Two-time defending Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on Dreams Untold from Post 3 of nine.
Like Dreams Untold, Howling Pigeon Farms’ Amen Corner is another horse nominated to the Triple Crown who’s stepping out of a maiden victory and into stakes company for his third lifetime start. His Laurel-based trainer, Jerry O’Dwyer, also has Grade 2-winning Triple Crown race prospect Shotski.
Amen Corner ran fourth in his Jan. 4 unveiling at Laurel, then came back with a hard-fought neck maiden special weight triumph 21 days later, both races coming over muddy, sealed tracks. He will be running for the first time on Lasix and without jockey Sheldon Russell, who will climb aboard Triple Crown-nominated Mine Not Mine, racing first time for his wife, trainer Brittany Russell.
“The first time he took plenty of dirt in his face and Sheldon gave him a nice, educational ride. He didn’t beat him up and he really benefited from that on his second run. He was sharp away and finished full of run, and kept going. Going the one-turn mile, he’ll probably be sitting fourth or fifth,” O’Dwyer said. “His last race was very gutsy and he seemed to have learned a lot from his first run.”
Amen Corner stretches out to the mile after making both his previous starts at six furlongs. The Malibu Moon colt worked a half-mile in 48 seconds Feb. 8 in his lone tuneup for the Miracle Wood.
“I breezed him back after his first run and he really showed me that he stepped up, mentally and physically, so I decided to run him back short again,” O’Dwyer said. “My initial plan was to run him once short and then stretch him out, but when he stepped up his game I said we’ll give him one more run short and it worked out. He got challenged and got headed and fought back. It was very impressive for a horse that wants to go two turns, in my opinion.”
Mine Not Mine was purchased for $210,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic mixed sale in December by Cash is King’s Chuck Zacney, who has partnered with LC Racing and D J Stable. By Golden Lad, Mine Not Mine captured his unveiling, a one-mile maiden claiming event in November, before finishing fourth in the Maryland Juvenile Futurity Dec. 7 at Laurel in his most recent start.
Godolphin homebred Albert Park will be making his fourth consecutive start in a stakes and fifth overall, all at different tracks. In the fall, he won his debut at Arlington and the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes at Presque Isle Downs, both over all-weather surfaces, then was sixth in the Cecil B. DeMille (G3) on the Del Mar turf Dec. 1.
In his 3-year-old debut and first race on dirt, Albert Park finished second to Liam’s Lucky Charm in the seven-furlong Pasco Stakes Jan. 18 at Tampa Bay Downs. Jose Lezcano is named to ride from Post 5.
“He ran a big race first time on the dirt in that race; we were very happy with the effort. We weren’t really sure what his preferred surface was because he broke his maiden on the synthetic at Arlington and then we tried him on the grass at Del Mar. It seemed like he got over the dirt really well,” trainer Michael Stidham said. “He’s traveled to different tracks and handled it well so being there for the first time I don’t think would faze him. That’s what we’re thinking.”
Lebda, third in last year’s Iroquois (G3) and Heft Stakes, the latter at Laurel Dec. 28; Gray Gary, a winner of two straight; Heft runner-up New Commission; Bernie’s On Fire and Romanoff, fourth in the Heft, complete the field.
Tyler Servis Sends Out Sunday Inn for $100,000 Wide Country
Already a stakes winner thanks to Afleet Tizzy in last summer’s restricted Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial at Parx, trainer Tyler Servis goes after his first open stakes victory with Someday Farm’s Sunday Inn in the $100,000 Wide Country.
Sunday Inn was bred in Pennsylvania by owner Patricia Chapman who, with her late husband Roy, campaigned 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner Smarty Jones under John Servis, Tyler’s father. John Servis will send out promising 3-year-old Smarty Jones gelding Dreams Untold for Chapman in Saturday’s $100,000 Miracle Wood.
“It’s great. It’s very good for Mrs. Chapman,” Tyler Servis said. “She’s supported all of us a bunch for the last 15, 20 years and it’s great to see that she’s got two nice horses heading back in the right direction.”
Sunday Inn, a chestnut daughter of Grade 2 winner El Padrino, has progressed steadily in her short career, starting with a runner-up finish in a 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight sprint last August at Penn National. In her next start four weeks later, she cruised to a 1 ¼-length triumph going 5 ½ furlongs in what would be her final start at 2.
“Ever since day one when she first got to the track, she seemed to have a good head on her shoulders. We ran her first time out at Penn just to kind of get the maiden out of the way and she ran all right in defeat. She had a little bit of a bad break and rushed up there. She ran second but I thought she ran really well,” Servis said.
“I ended up wheeling her back a couple weeks later back at Penn again and she won and I thought she did it pretty easy, and that’s kind of what I expected the whole time,” he added. “After that we just gave her a little bit of time to grow up and grow into herself, and it just paid off in dividends. She came back a bigger, stronger filly and she’s definitely heading in the right direction.”
Sunday Inn opened her sophomore season Jan. 13 at Parx, dueling between horses to forge a short lead at the top of the stretch, then holding it through the lane for a gutsy neck triumph in a six-furlong entry-level optional claimer.
“Probably the most impressive thing to me out of that race was just the guts and determination she had, especially coming off that five-month layoff. For a filly to come off a layoff like that, and I was questioning myself whether she would be tight enough going into the race. But for her to dig in and find a way to win the race, that’s what you want to see in a filly like that,” Servis said. “She got the a-other-than out first chance she had, so we’re just trying to give her a nice easy way to hopefully something big.”
Anthony Nunez, aboard for both her wins, gets the return call from Post 8 in a field of nine.
“She’s a filly that just doesn’t want to be rushed a whole lot out of the gate,” Servis said. “I think that was the most negative thing about her first start. I just don’t think she’s that type of filly. She’s a big, good-looking type of filly, so I think the more she stretches out the better she’ll get. I think she’ll be relatively reserved in the beginning and hopefully come running late.”
Country Life Farm’s stakes winner Bella Aurora is the 122-pound topweight for the Wide Country. A chestnut daughter of Carpe Diem, she was stakes-placed twice sprinting on the turf, the first against fellow Virginia-breds, but is unbeaten in two tries since being moved to the dirt.
Both dirt wins have come over Laurel’s main track. She captured a one-mile optional claimer by three lengths Nov. 2 and capped her 2-year-old season rallying from dead last to win the seven-furlong Gin Talking Stakes by 1 ½ lengths. Yet to finish worse than third, she will break from the rail and be ridden for the seventh straight time by Julian Pimentel.
Rounding out the field are Naughty Thoughts, third in the Gin Talking; She’smysunshine, third in the Parx Juvenile Fillies last fall; Miss Marissa, third in the Ruthless Stakes Jan. 26 at Aqueduct; Lady George, Paisley Singing, Princess Cadey and Bankruptonthebeach, unraced since her debut triumph last summer at Monmouth Park for trainer Jason Servis.