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Somekindofmagician Returns for Title Defense in $75,000 Find
G3-Placed No Mo Lady Chasing Elusive Stakes Win in All Brandy
Among Three Turf Stakes Worth $250,000 on Father’s Day Program
LAUREL, MD – Bell Gable Stable’s multiple stakes winner Somekindofmagician, unraced since a dramatic victory in the Maryland Million Turf last October, is set to launch his 8-year-old season with a title defense in Sunday’s $75,000 Find at Laurel Park.
The 41st running of the Find and 50th renewal of the All Brandy for fillies and mares, both restricted to Maryland-bred/sired 3-year-olds and up and going 1 1/16 miles, are among three turf stakes worth $250,000 in purses on a Father’s Day program headlined by the $100,000 Stormy Blues for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 5 ½ furlongs.
Post time for the first of 10 races is 12:40 p.m.
Somekindofmagician came from off the pace to earn his first career stakes victory in the 2021 Find by 1 ¾ lengths over Nick Papagiorgio, who also returns from last year when the race was contested in August. He was a rallying third in a 7 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance at Delaware Park, where trainer Gary Contessa is based, before emerging from a three-way photo finish a nose ahead of Johng in the 1 1/8-mile Turf.
“He had some surgery in the postseason for problems we were managing all year long last year, so he was running with issues he had in his ankles last year and he was doing quite well. It was just he needed a little cleanup at the end of the year and we wanted to fix him up as good as possible,” Contessa said. “He’s come back training excellent. He is dead ready to run.
“He came back to me looking like a tank. He was probably 50 to 75 pounds overweight but that’s come off him,” he added. “I’ve had uninterrupted training. I’ve given him three one-mile works in a row and each one has been an improvement over the other. [Tuesday] I blew him out in 48 flat, so he is ready to go.”
Somekindofmagician has raced 16 times at Laurel with two wins, both in stakes, four seconds and two thirds. Overall he has won seven of 36 lifetime starts with nearly $340,000 in purse earnings. Daniel Centeno, aboard for a pair of wins last summer at Delaware, gets the riding assignment from Post 3 in a field of 11 at topweight of 124 pounds.
“Anytime you get a horse as old as he is and you’ve done some surgery on him, it remains to be seen whether he’s going to be the same horse when he comes back. But he’s really training good. I could not be happier with the he training. I’m very positive that he’s going to show up,” Contessa said.
“He is just at the front of the webbing, he’s screaming for his food, he’s got his ears pinned, he’s charging the webbing – it’s like everything you want to see in a horse the week before you’re going to run them,” he added. “He’s really sharp and really doing well. I couldn’t ask for him to going into the Find any better.”
Johng and Street Copper, separated by a nose when respectively second and third in last year’s Maryland Million Turf, also return in the Find. Alberts Racing’s homebred Johng, fourth in the 1 ½-mile Japan Turf Cup in his Turf prep, opened his 5-year-old campaign running sixth in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance May 20 at historic Pimlico Race Course.
R. Larry Johnson’s homebred Street Copper, a 7-year-old gelding that shares the same sire, Street Magician, as Somekindofmagician, has also gone unraced since Maryland Million for trainer Mike Trombetta, who won the Find in 2019 with English Minister. The Find was not run in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I wanted to get a race under him and we couldn’t get a race, so we have to go in it off the bench. Hopefully he’s ready for it,” Trombetta said. “He usually runs pretty good fresh, but this is a little tougher than your every-day race. He’s been a solid horse. He just grinds it out.”
Taking Risks Stable’s Cannon’s Roar was fourth in the Maryland Million Turf, just a half-length behind Street Copper after taking a 1 ½-length lead into the stretch. The 8-year-old Orientate gelding was third by a half-length in the Laurel Dash and narrowly beaten in a pair of out-of-town stakes last year, as well as coming within a length of winner Pretty Good Year when second in the 2020 Maryland Million Turf. Trainer Dale Capuano won the Find in 2008 with Headsandtails.
B Determined and Mint Game, separated by a head when respectively 1-2 in the 2021 Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap; Lacco Ameno, second in the June 3 With Anticipation at Penn National; Plot the Dots, third in the April 23 Native Dancer at Laurel making just his third career start on turf; The Wolfman and last-out winner Audacious Quality complete the field.
G3-Placed No Mo Lady Chasing Elusive Stakes Win in All Brandy
R. Larry Johnson and R. D. M. Racing Stable’s No Mo Lady, placed in seven career stakes including the 2020 Gallorette (G3) at historic Pimlico Race Course, chases her elusive first stakes victory in Sunday’s $75,000 All Brandy at Laurel Park.
No Mo Lady, a 6-year-old daughter of champion Uncle Mo bred by Johnson, has four seconds and three thirds in 12 stakes attempts dating back to her debut season of 2018, when she was beaten a neck as the favorite by 23-1 winner Money Fromheaven in Laurel’s Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship sprinting on dirt, her fourth career start.
Racing exclusively on grass or synthetics since June 2020 No Mo Lady placed in three consecutive stakes that summer and fall, including the All Along at Laurel and Gallorette, and duplicated the feat to end last season. This year, trainer Mike Trombetta gave her a pair of runs over the all-weather surface at Woodbine, where she was beaten a head when second sprinting seven furlongs and three lengths when third in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance, the latter May 21.
“I took a chance to get her started. I definitely wanted to make this race,” Trombetta said. “I ran her seven-eighths and she ran really well. I left her up there to get another race under her belt so we could be ready for this one.”
No Mo Lady has worked twice on the all-weather since returning to Trombetta’s string at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. Victor Carrasco gets the call aboard No Mo Lady from the rail in a full field of 12.
“I feel pretty good about her,” Trombetta said. “I’ve been very happy with the way she’s been training and I’m looking forward to it.”
Joanne Shankle’s Can the Queen is entered to stretch out beyond six furlongs for the first time in her career in the All Brandy. The 6-year-old mare is a two-time turf sprint stakes winner, taking the 2021 Sensible Lady and May 20 The Very One, each going five furlongs at Pimlico, the latter in her most recent start.
Vivian Rall’s homebred Epic Idea won the 1 1/8-mile Maryland Million Ladies on the turf last fall and has raced twice since – finishing fifth to Can the Queen in the $100,000 The Very One and second by a neck to Michael Merryman-trained stablemate Whispurring Kitten in a 5 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance June 4 at Laurel.
John and Cheryl Banner’s homebred I’m Blushing takes a two-race win streak into the All Brandy, her stakes debut. Unraced at 2, she ran twice at the Fair Grounds over the winter before graduating in a one-mile maiden special weight April 16 over the Laurel turf, beating next-out winner Charmed Way by three lengths.
In her most recent start, I’m Blushing again came from off the pace to beat Except Temptation by 1 ½ lengths in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance over older horses May 12 at Pimlico. Stakes-placed Quiet Imagination, who ran third, is also entered in the All Brandy.
Out of the Miesque’s Son mare Blushing Bride, I’m Blushing is a half-sister to Trombetta’s 2019 All Brandy winner My Sistersledge, who also won the Maryland Million Ladies in 2017 and 2018 and was second in 2019.
“She’s a totally different horse on the turf. That was always the angle. She trains fine in the morning on the dirt but, being a half to My Sistersledge, we wanted to always get her on the grass,” trainer Brittany Russell said. “I think sending her down to Fair Grounds and letting her get the seasoning was really beneficial so now that she’s up here, she’s had some racing.
“Obviously I hope she can win the stake, but I think she’s still eligible for the a-other-than, so it’s sort of a no-brainer to run her here because even if she wins you’re not losing a condition,” she added. “I think it would just be a test of her class. It’s a restricted spot, but there’s still some good Maryland-breds. It’s not an easy race by any means, but I think it’s a good step. I think she deserves a chance.”
Jevian Toledo, up for both her wins, will ride back from Post 7.
Also entered are stakes-placed Coconut Cake, Awesome Jazz, Dendrobia and She Is Wisky, the latter yet to race on turf; as well as Why Not Tonight, Daily Planet and Breviary.