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Stakes-Quality Feature Spices Up Sunday Card at Pimlico
Kenny Had a Notion Facing Fellow Stakes Winners in Comeback
LAUREL, MD – Louis Ulman and Neil Glasser’s multiple stakes-winning 3-year-old Kenny Had a Notion, unraced in 149 days, will face older horses for the first time when he launches his comeback Sunday at Pimlico Race Course.
The stakes-quality, third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up sprinting six furlongs on the main track drew a field of six including fellow stakes winners Eastern Bay and Arthur’s Hope and stakes-placed Wondrwherecraigis.
Trainer Dale Capuano also entered Kenny Had a Notion in the following day’s Meadow Stable against fellow Virginia-breds July 19 at Colonial Downs, a 5 ½-furlong grass sprint. Kenny Had a Notion owns stakes wins on both turf and dirt.
“He’ll run Sunday here at Pimlico,” Capuano said. “It’s a smaller field but it’s a tough race, a very tough race. He’s the only 3-year-old in there. We’ll see what he can do against those older horses.”
Kenny Had a Notion has four wins, one second and one third in eight career starts, taking the Jamestown on turf against Virginia-breds and Maryland Million Nursery on dirt 15 days apart last fall at Laurel Park. He was beaten a neck by No Cents in his juvenile finale and won by the same margin over Maythehorsebwithu in the Jan. 16 Spectacular Bid, both seven furlongs.
Stretched out to a mile in his most recent race, Kenny Had a Notion ran third, beaten 4 ½ lengths by Maythehorsebwithu, in the Feb. 20 Miracle Wood at Laurel. Capuano opted to give his ample time to recover, bypassing Laurel’s July 4 Concern against straight 3-year-olds to focus on the second half of the year.
“He’s training well. He’s coming back nice, so I suspect he’ll run his race. I really want to find out how good he is,” Capuano said. “There’s some nice horses in there. We’ll see how he shapes up against them.”
Robert D. Bone’s 7-year-old Eastern Bay won the Polynesian at Laurel and was beaten a nose by multiple stakes winner Laki in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) in successive starts last fall, the latter at Pimlico. He ran third behind Laki in the Frank Y. Whiteley April 24 in his season opener, won a May 23 optional claimer at Pimlico and was third last out in a higher-level optional claimer June 19 at Delaware Park.
Raul DelValle’s Arthur’s Hope, 7, is a 13-time winner from 36 lifetime starts including the 2020 Say Florida Sandy against fellow New York-breds at Aqueduct. Fifth in the General George (G3) Feb. 20 at Laurel, he most recently ran fourth in the Whiteley just a head behind Eastern Bay.
Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables’ Wondrwherecraigis was second by a head in the six-furlong Gold Fever last July at Belmont Park and fourth in the Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga before getting the rest of the year off. He returned with an impressive front-running three-length triumph May 14 at Pimlico on the eve of the 146th Preakness Stakes (G1), but came up empty when fifth in a June 19 optional claimer at Delaware.
“Craig’s cool. He ran a clunker last time, so we’re tossing it,” trainer Brittany Russell said. “I don’t know what that was. Hopefully we see the Preakness Craig, how he ran that weekend.”
Also entered are Parx-based War Tocsin, sixth in the May 15 Maryland Sprint (G3) in his Pimlico debut, and Whiskey and You, fourth to multiple graded-stakes winner Yaupon in the July 4 Lite the Fuse at Pimlico.
Notes: Jockey Forest Boyce and trainer Bob Klesaris teamed up to win two of the first three races Friday, with Fillmore East ($13.40) in Race 1 and South Sea ($7) in Race 3. Both horses are owned by Alex Kazdan … There will be a carryover jackpot of $13,741.56 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 for Saturday’s card, spanning Races 3-8. Multiple tickets with all six winners Friday each returned $858.58. Post time Saturday is 12:40 p.m.