Ionic, Theodora B., Summering Headline Featured Turf Allowance Friday

Ionic, Theodora B., Summering Headline Featured Turf Allowance Friday

Multiple Stakes Winner Cordmaker Continues to Prep for Season Opener
Double Carryovers, National Stronach 5 for Friday’s Return of Live Racing

LAUREL, MD – Stakes winner Ionic and multiple graded-stakes placed Theodora B., both coming off extended layoffs, are entered to make their season debuts in a third-level optional claiming allowance that highlights the 10-race program Friday, June 26 at Laurel Park.

First race post time is 12:40 p.m.

Bred and owned by Dr. Catherine Wills, Ionic drew Post 2 in a field of eight fillies and mares for the 1 1/16-mile contest, scheduled to be run over the Kelso layout on Laurel’s world-class turf course. It will be the first race in nearly eight months for the 4-year-old City Zip filly since capturing the Cellars Shiraz Nov. 2 at Gulfstream Park West.

“She’s doing well. She had a little bit of time off after her race at Gulfstream Park West. We just wanted to give her a little bit of time. She’s ready to run now so the timing is kind of right. I’m happy with how she’s been doing,” trainer Arnaud Delacour said. “It’s a good place to get her started.”

Friday will be just the seventh career start for Ionic, who was second by a nose in a one-mile optional claimer last April in her only previous try at Laurel. She is 2-0 at 1 1/16 miles with maiden and allowance triumphs last spring and summer, and she has proven adaptable with each of her first six races coming at different tracks.

“She’s run well at Laurel, so that gives me a good feeling about that. She’s probably better on firm turf than on soft. I think the weather forecast is pretty nice, so hopefully she’ll have a firm turf on Friday,” Delacour said. “She’s probably more of a miler than a mile and a sixteenth or more, but she has won at that distance before so I’m happy to come back at a mile and a sixteenth and see how it goes.”

Trevor McCarthy has the riding assignment on Ionic, who was considered for Saturday’s Nassau (G2) at Woodbine. She became a stakes winner for the first time in South Florida after finishing fifth in the Virginia Oaks and fourth in the Parx Fall Oaks last year.

“We had to ship very far to get it, but it worked out great. Obviously, with those fillies when you can get some black type it’s always a good deal. Hopefully she can get a little more and maybe graded black type at some stage. We’ll see if she improves,” Delacour said.

“There’s a lot less overnight stakes than there used to be, so I’m going to have to take it one race at a time and see. I wouldn’t be opposed to go to Woodbine,” he added. “They’ve got the Nassau this weekend, but that’s probably a little tough to bring a filly like her back in. I’ll be looking at any kind of graded-stakes and see if we can find one.”

Augustin Stable’s Theodora B. is the richest horse in the field with $234,157 in purse earnings. She has yet to win a stakes race but has placed six times, including second in the 1 3/8-mile Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) and third in the 1 ¼-mile Maple Leaf (G3) last year.

From the barn of trainer Michael Dickinson, the 5-year-old daughter of Hall of Famer Ghostzapper was second behind Delacour-trained I’m So Fancy in the 1 1/16-mile Big Dreyfus last June at Laurel in her stakes debut. A Group 3 stakes winner in her native Ireland, I’m So Fancy went on to win the Matchmaker (G3).

In her most recent race, Theodora B. was beaten a neck when second in Forever Together Nov. 29 at Aqueduct, also at Friday’s distance. The 7-5 program favorite drew Post 5 under jockey Daniel Centeno.

Theodora B. has raced exclusively in stakes company since the Big Dreyfus, a span of eight starts. She also finished second in the 1 1/16-mile Violet at Monmouth Park and third in the one-mile, 70-yard HBPA Stakes at Parx last fall. She owns one win, one second and one third in three previous tries at Laurel.

“Theodora B. is doing quite well. She’s been ready to race for two or three weeks; we were just waiting for a race. She’s had a lot of work, she’s fairly fit and she’s in good form, and she looks very well, too,” Dickinson said. “She’s run well at Laurel, so we’re hopeful. She’s been great.”

Also among the entrants is 2018 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Summering, who won her season debut April 3 at Tampa Bay Downs and was fifth in an optional claiming allowance May 22 at Churchill Downs. The 4-year-old Glen Hill Farm homebred was off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to end 2018 as well as her only two starts of 2019, both last summer at Laurel, before getting the rest of the year off.

Estilo Femenino, second as the favorite in the 2018 Safely Kept at Laurel for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, and Wicked Awesome are entered for main track only.

Multiple Stakes Winner Cordmaker Continues to Prep for Season Opener

Hillwood Stable’s multiple stakes winner Cordmaker, third by two necks in the 2019 Pimlico Special (G3), continues to train steadily as his connections await a spot to make his 5-year-old debut.

Unraced in nine months since winning the DTHA Governors Day Handicap last September at Delaware Park, Cordmaker has had eight timed works at Laurel Park for trainer Rodney Jenkins, most recently going five furlongs in 1:01.20 June 23, the fastest of five horses.

Jenkins planned to give Cordmaker time before this season, a break which was further extended when live racing in Maryland was put on pause for 2 ½ months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The gelded son of Hall of Famer and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin has been with Jenkins for the duration, rather than spending the winter at Dark Hollow Farm in northern Maryland as he had in past years.

“He’s doing great. He’s actually as good, if not better, than he’s ever been. We’re very pleased with him,” Jenkins said. “I just kept him here. I have these round pens and I turned him out every day, and then we’d ride him a little bit just to keep him from getting bored. He’s been doing great. He put on some weight and looks great.”

Bred in Maryland by the late Bob Manfuso and his life partner, Laurel trainer Katy Voss, Cordmaker has eight wins, two seconds, two thirds and $424,890 in purse earnings from 17 lifetime starts. He won one of four races as a 2-year-old, earned his first stakes triumph in the 2018 Jennings at Laurel to cap his 3-year-old year, and went five-for-eight in 2019 with other stakes wins in the Polynesian and Harrison E. Johnson Memorial t Laurel.

Along with consistency, versatility has been Cordmaker’s calling card, hitting the board at distances from five furlongs to 1 ¼ miles. His wins have come at six furlongs, seven furlongs, one mile, one mile and 70 yards, and 1 1/8 miles.

“He’s a good horse. He gets better the older he gets. He was a very immature 2-year-old. The Jennings was his breakout race, I think,” Jenkins said. “He can run. He’s fast. He’s not just a horse that goes long. When you’ve got a horse like that, there’s very few races for him. It’s nice to have one that can do those things because you get a chance to run them more.”

Double Carryovers, Stronach 5 for Return of Live Racing Friday

Live racing returns to Laurel Park with a 10-race program Friday, June 25 featuring carryovers in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 and $1 Super Hi-5 as well as three of five races in the national weekly Stronach 5 wager.

The Rainbow 6 covers Races 5-10 and begins with a carryover jackpot of $7,701.83 from the last live program June 20. The sequence includes an about 1 1/16-mile allowance for Maryland-bred/sired 3-year-olds and up in Race 7 and a third-level optional claiming allowance on the Kelso turf course layout in Race 9 for fillies and mares 3 and up featuring stakes winners Ionic and Summering and multiple graded-stakes placed Theodora B.

There will be a carryover of $875.70 in the Super Hi-5 for Friday’s opener, a maiden claiming event for 3-year-olds and up. First race post time is 12:40 p.m.

Friday’s Race 6 will kick off the Stronach 5 and alternate legs with Gulfstream Park in the popular wager with an industry-low 12 percent takeout and $100,000 pool guarantee. The sequence continues with Gulfstream’s Race 8, followed by Race 7 from Laurel, Race 9 from Gulfstream and Race 8 at Laurel.

The multi-race, multi-track Stronach 5 is a $1 minimum wager. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool will be carried over to the next Friday. The Maryland Jockey Club serves as host of the Stronach 5.

Action returns to Laurel Saturday, June 27 with an 11-race program that attracted a total of 140 entries, an average of 12.7 horses 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.

Saturday’s feature comes in Race 7, a second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up carded for one mile on the Kelso turf course. 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 four starts at the summer meet.