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Lightening Larry Strikes in $200,000 Chick Lang (G3) Upset
First Graded-Stakes Victory for 3-Year-Old Florida-Bred Colt
LAUREL, MD – Lea Farms’ Lightening Larry, racing for the first time outside of Florida, took to the heat on a steamy day at historic Pimlico Race Course and struck for a 12-1 upset of Saturday’s $200,000 Chick Lang (G3), his first graded-stakes victory.
The 47th running of the six-furlong Chick Lang for 3-year-olds was the fifth of 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.75 million in purses on a blockbuster 14-race program headlined by the 147th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
Outrun for the lead, jockey Chantal Sutherland positioned Lightening Larry ($26) in second off the right hip of Cogburn as they zipped through a quarter-mile in 21.87 seconds and the half in a snappy 44.14. Stakes winner Old Homestead, unbeaten in three front-running victories by an average of seven lengths, was ridden to keep pace in third.
Sutherland moved Lightening Larry to within a half-length leaving the far turn and set the Uncaptured colt down for a drive, surging past Cogburn in deep stretch to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:09.86 over a fast main track. Chasing Time, Cogburn’s Steve Asmussen-trained stablemate, was third.
Alottahope, Old Homestead, Little Vic, Whelen Springs – who edged Cogburn by a neck in the April 30 Bachelor at Oaklawn Park – and Doctor Jeff rounded out the group.
Lightening Larry entered the Chick Lang off a runner-up finish in the seven-furlong Sophomore March 27 at Tampa Bay Downs, his first start for trainer Jorge Delgado, who enjoyed his first graded-stakes success Saturday. The grandson of Malibu Moon now has four wins and four seconds from nine lifetime starts, including a front-running triumph in the six-furlong Limehouse Jan. 1 at Gulfstream Park.
Run as the Hirsch Jacobs Stakes from its inception in 1975 to 2009, the Chick Lang was renamed in honor of the racing industry legend widely known as ‘Mr. Preakness,’ who passed away in 2010 at age 83.
$200,000 Chick Lang (G3) Quotes
Winning trainer Jorge Delgado, Lightening Larry: “I still don’t know what happened. I’m just so happy the horse won. Everything went very fast, but I could tell the horse broke on his game. We’ve been training for this race specifically since February. We used the Tampa race as a prep, and he finished second and after that we shipped to Monmouth targeting this race. I just thank God everything worked out. I knew at the quarter-pole. He always has a strong finish so when he was close to the other horse, I knew he had a big chance, but I recognize Steve Asmussen is a great trainer, so you never know until the very end.”
“This is my first time in a big stakes race like this, my first graded-stakes win, and I’m beyond grateful it happened this way. It’s a day I will never forget. I’m looking forward to tonight. I’ll have a nice dinner and watch the race many, many times.”
Winning jockey Chantal Sutherland, Lightening Larry: “He’s the type of horse that likes to be in it and he gets more aggressive. He’s a bit of pit bull that way, so we wanted him close. The track here is fast; the rail is good; and whenever [trainer Steve] Asmussen is nearby, he’s a really tough competitor; so I don’t want to leave [Jockey] Joel (Rosario) or Asmussen too far away from me on any horse.”
“I knew we were going a little quick, but I knew I had to be there. The track is just playing to that style. There was a moment when he kind of pulled away for a second, I asked my horse and he still had stuff left in the engine. He kind of got out front and he pulled away. I was like, ‘Wow.’ It was even more impressive than I thought.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen, Cogburn, 2nd; Chasing Time, 3rd: “Cogburn was away from the gate well. The horse that went with him ended up winning the race. Chasing Time made a nice late run, a little wider than would have been ideal, but he had to go when he did.”
Jockey Joel Rosario, Cogburn, 2nd: “He broke well and went to the lead. He did everything right. He just couldn't hold on at the end. The winner ran a big race. The pace was fast, and we were going easy. My horse ran a big race. That's how it goes sometimes.”
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione, Chasing Time, 3rd: “My horse broke good. The speed went on and I just wanted to let him settle and make his run. Speed is holding pretty well today. They are not coming back like they normally would, but he put up a good run and finished up well.”
Trainer Brett Brinkman, Old Homestead, 5th: “It took him a little while to get up on his feet out of the gate. In this game, it's about how you adjust with the defeats. He's fast. We love him. I think he's a nice little horse. He's the kind of a horse, he has to power up through there, and power into the racetrack. [Jockey] Tommy [Pompell] said it was just getting away from him a little bit today. He just didn't handle [the surface] as he has some of the others. I don't think it's a bad surface. I just think it was a little heavier than what we calculated for."