G3-Placed Theodora B. Returns a Winner in Laurel Friday Feature

G3-Placed Theodora B. Returns a Winner in Laurel Friday Feature

Friday’s Rainbow 6 Solved for $11,923 Jackpot Payout
Carryovers in Late Pick 5, Super Hi-5 for 11-Race Saturday Program

LAUREL, MD – Augustin Stable’s two-time Grade 3-placed homebred Theodora B., racing for the first time in seven months, opened her 5-year-old season in successful fashion with a popular three-quarter-length triumph over Summering in Friday’s featured ninth race at Laurel Park.

Ridden by Daniel Centeno for trainer Michael Dickinson, Theodora B. ($4.80) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.51 over a Kelso turf course rated good to snap an eight-race losing streak in the third-level optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up.

Favored at 7-5 in a stakes-quality field that included stakes winners Ionic and Summering, Theodora B. settled in fifth racing in the clear as Ionic ran the opening quarter-mile in 24.40 seconds pressed by 12-1 long shot Tightly Twisted, who was replaced by Summering after a half in 48.45.

Summering, who broke outwardly from her far outside post at the gate, ranged up to wrest a short lead once straightened for home but was unable to hold off the steady late run down the center of the track by Theodora B., a daughter of Hall of Famer Ghostzapper who now owns two wins, a second and a third in four tries at Laurel.

Glen Hill Farm’s homebred Summering was second, followed by Tightly Twisted, Not in Jeopardy, Ionic and Madame X. Main-track-only entrants Estilo Femenino and Wicked Awesome were scratched.

Theodora B. hadn’t won since a second-level optional claiming grass allowance going a mile last May at Monmouth Park. She had run in eight consecutive stakes starting with a runner-up finish in the Big Dreyfus at Laurel and including a second in the Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) at Delaware Park and Maple Leaf (G3) over the Woodbine turf.

In her previous effort, Theodora B. was beaten a neck while second in the 1 1/16-mile Forever Together Nov. 29 at Aqueduct. Overall, she has placed in six stakes with more than $260,000 in purse earnings.

“The race was too short for her and we were worried about that, but she had nice acceleration at the end. We’re very lucky to be here. A big thank you to the Governor and all the health people and the Maryland Jockey Club and Stronach Group for putting the show on, because it’s not easy,” Dickinson said. “It’s very important that we make her a stakes winner, so we needed this as a prep race for the Robert Dick in 15 days’ time.”

Theodora B. shipped in from Dickinson’s private state-of-the-art Tapeta Farm in North East, Md., where she had worked six times since mid-May for her return.

“I turn her out every morning in the paddock at 5 o’clock, and she stays there until 9. She loves the paddock,” Dickinson said. “This morning I went to get her at 7:30, and she said ‘I haven’t had my four hours.’ She didn’t want to be caught, so she galloped past me a couple of times. She’s got more speed than I have. I was worried I was going to have to call the stewards and say, ‘I can’t catch this filly.’”

The 20-cent Rainbow 6 was solved by one lucky bettor Friday for a jackpot payout of $11,923.16 when Godlovesasinner ($27.40) got his nose down on the wire over Start With Yes in Friday’s 10th-race finale. Other winners in the sequence were Caladan ($5.80) in Race 5, Fiya ($22.40) in Race 6, Plot the Dots ($3.80) in Race 7, Princess Killmain ($17.40) in Race 8 and Theodora B.

There will be a carryover of $13,548.75 in the 50-cent Late Pick 5 (Races 7-11) and $1,980.80 in the $1 Super Hi-5 (Race 1) on Saturday’s 11-race program. Tickets with four of five winners in Friday’s Late Pick 5 each returned $49.05.

The Rainbow 6 will begin anew starting with Race 6 Saturday, and the sequence includes the featured second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up carded for one mile on the Kelso turf course in Race 7. A dozen horses were entered led by stakes-placed Taxable Goods, beaten a neck when second at 17-1 in last summer’s Find at Laurel, Outofthepark and Accountable. Playing Hooky ships in from New Jersey for trainer Jorge Duarte Jr., who has two wins and a second in six starts at the summer meet.

In all, 140 horses were entered for Saturday’s program, an average of 12.7 per race. Seven races are scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course over the Fort Marcy and Kelso layouts, drawing 102 entries, an average of 14.5 horses per race.

Notes: Jockey Sheldon Russell added two wins to his summer meet-leading total, aboard Caladan ($5.80) in Race 5 and Princess Killmain ($17.40) in Race 8. Feargal Lynch also doubled with Three Quarter Time ($6.20) in Race 2 and Fiya ($22.40) in Race