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Maryland Million on Radar for Stakes Winner Cynergy's Star
Frosty Brew, Kit Keller Make Winning Debuts
LAUREL, MD – Bonuccelli Racing’s Cynergy’s Star, front-running winner of the Timonium Juvenile Aug. 29 to cap a busy slate of three races in 27 days, will get a breather before being pointed to the 36th Jim McKay Maryland Million program Oct. 23 at Laurel Park.
Trainer Kenny Cox said Cynergy’s Star, a 2-year-old Great Notion gelding bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman and Skeedattle Associates, is a candidate for the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery sprinting six furlongs.
“Ideally we’re going to give him at least 30 days without even worrying about a race for him,” Cox said. “If something came up that I could use as a prep for the Maryland Million the first week of October or something like that, that would be an option. I haven’t seen anything yet. If not, we’ll just wait for the Maryland Million.”
Laurel Park-based Cox, a native of Gambrills, Md. near old Bowie Race Course where he still lives, took out his trainer’s license in 1989 and is seeking his first Maryland Million victory. He ran eighth in last year’s Nursery with Ain’t Da Beer Cold, who would go on to be fourth to Jaxon Traveler in the seven-furlong Maryland Juvenile Futurity and second by a nose in the 1 1/16-mile Howard County last December at Laurel.
Bonuccelli Racing’s Charles Bonuccelli, vice president of Crofton, Md.-based electrical contractor Cynergy Electric Company, was also part of the Ain’t Da Beer Cold ownership group. Among Cox’s best horses was Maryland-bred multiple stakes winner Flaming Emperor, third in the 1993 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3).
“Actually I’ve had some Maryland-breds and I’ve never won a Maryland Million. It’s something you always think about. At the right time it’ll happen,” Cox said. “The owner is a Maryland guy. That was his first stake win the other day. It was the first year he went to the sales and spent some money on some babies and 2-year-olds, wanting horses like that. It paid off for him. He said, ‘Let’s step up and get some numbers and try to get a couple nice horses,’ and build a good stable that way.”
Cynergy’s Star fetched $25,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale last October at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonoum. He debuted Aug. 8 at Colonial Downs, running seventh in the Hickory Tree, a five-furlong turf dash.
“The reason for that was it was Virginia-certified, which he is, and there were some maidens in there. There’s a lot of turf on the mare’s side, and I think he would definitely be fine on grass,” Cox said. “We had the one hole and it was a lot to ask. I knew that, but for a 2-year-old he’s very good-minded and I thought if any horse could handle it, he would be one of them. That’s not a normal thing for me to do. We took our shot, and he ran green. He came out of it and I took advantage of the waiver when I did.”
Cynergy’s Star led all the way to post a three-quarter length triumph Aug. 14 in a 5 ½-furlong waiver maiden claiming sprint at historic Pimlico Race Course under jockey Sheldon Russell. Two weeks later, Jevian Toledo was aboard for his two-length upset in the Timonium Juvenile at odds of 6-1.
“Going from 5 ½ to 6 ½ [furlongs] at Timonium was a question, but I wasn’t worried about it for the simple fact that Sheldon told me galloping out the day he won that he thought he might have used him a little bit early. When a horse came by him galloping out, he dug back in and took off,” Cox said. “When I watched the replay I saw exactly what he meant. Sheldon had to reach up and grab hold of him because he was just waiting on those horses. Toledo told me the same thing the other day. He was waiting on horses around the turn and once they came to him, then he went back and put them away.
“The stake at Timonium, again not my normal to run back that fast, but I thought this the best shot he’s going to have for a little bit and then we’ll freshen him up after that,” he added. “Normally that’s not my thing to have three races for a 2-year-old in one month, but it’s just the way it fell in, and he came out of each race as good as you could ask.”
Frosty Brew, Kit Keller Make Winning Debuts
Magic Cap Stable’s 2-year-old filly Frosty Brew, trained by Shug McGaughey, made her debut a winning one Friday. Ridden by Forest Boyce, Frosty Brew, a daughter of Frosted out of the Speightstown mare Jeanne’s Speight, won over six furlongs by 1 ¾ lengths while covering the distance 1:11.97. The filly sold for $160,000 earlier this year.
Godolphin LLC’s homebred Kit Keller, a 2-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper trained by Michael Stidham, also made a winning debut, covering a firm 5 ½ furlong turf course in 1:05.37. Ridden by Charlie Marquez (two wins on the day), Kit Keller is out of the graded stakes-placed Street Sense mare, Sweet Swingin.
Ten Strike Racing’s Arrio, trained by Brittaney Russell and ridden by Sheldon Russell, took command at the sixteenth pole and won a $46,000 maiden special weight event at 1 1/16 mile. A 3-year-old son of Paynter, Arrio covered the distance in 1:45.37. The gelding finished fourth in his debut in January over a sloppy track at Laurel. Call It Love was a half-length back in second. Lidstrom, a son $2.5 million son of Tapit owned by Godolphin, checked in third.
Five of Friday’s nine races are scheduled on the turf including a maiden special weight for 10 2-year-old fillies at 5 ½ furlongs. Friday’s fourth race, a maiden special weight event for 2-year-olds at six furlongs, drew a field of eight including Von Hoff, a son of Hard Spun who brought $335,000 at auction earlier this year, and Gary and Mary West’s homebred Home Brew, a son of Street Sense out of Omnitap trained by Kelly Breen.