LAUREL, Md. – Hillwood Stable’s Cordmaker, still going strong at the age of 6, overpowered several younger rivals including 3-year-old favorite Shackqueenking to register his seventh career stakes victory, a 1 ¾-length decision over Workin On a Dream in Saturday’s $100,000 Richard W. Small at Laurel Park.
The 21st running of the 1 1/8-mile Small for 3-year-olds and up, part of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, was the last of three $100,000 stakes on the program, preceded by the City of Laurel for 3-year-olds and Safely Kept for 3-year-old fillies, each sprinting seven furlongs.
Cordmaker ($12.20) ran second in last year’s Small to Harpers First Ride, who went on to win the historic Pimlico Special (G3), a race where Cordmaker finished third for the second consecutive year. The winning time Saturday was 1:50.48 over a fast main track.
“It’s great for the horse and the barn and [owner] Mrs. [Ellen] Charles,” winning trainer Rodney Jenkins said. “It’s a nice thing all around.”
With regular rider Victor Carrasco aboard, Cordmaker settled in third as 17-1 long shot Workin On a Dream and Shackqueenking led the way, going the opening quarter-mile in 24.58 seconds and a half in 47.59. Racing in the clear, Cordmaker closed the gap after six furlongs went in 1:11.84 and swooped to the front at the top of the stretch, running a mile in 1:37.14.
“I wanted him to stay closer. We’ve been taking him, not way out of it, but pretty far and that’s a lot of ground to make up in a stakes race,” Jenkins said. “I told Victor, ‘Keep him up in there and make them run,’ and he did. Victor gave him a great ride.”
Shackqueenking finished third, with two lengths separating him from runner-up Workin On a Dream and Forewarned in fourth. They were followed by Informative, Tappin Cat, Mischief Afoot, Treasure Trove, Bustoff and McElmore Avenue.
Cordmaker, a gelded son of two-time Horse of the Year and 2014 Hall of Famer Curlin, added to his lead in the MATCH Series’ 3-year-olds and up long dirt division with his 11th career victory from 33 starts, pushing his lifetime bankroll over $700,000 and bouncing back from being disqualified from second to sixth for interference in the Sept. 18 Polynesian at Laurel.
“His last race, when he had that [incident] down here, you never know how they’re going to react the next time, and that made me nervous,” Jenkins said. “But he came around great.”
Formerly run as the Broad Brush, the multi-millionaire and four-time Grade 1 winner he trained, the Richard W. Small was renamed following the beloved horseman’s death from cancer in 2014. Baltimore-born ‘Dickie’ Small served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War as a Green Beret before becoming a trainer, also campaigning Broad Brush’s son, 1994 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Concern. He won at least one stakes race in Maryland every year but one between 1974 and 2014 and is also known for helping launch the riding careers of female jockeys such as Andrea Seefeldt, Jerilyn Brown, Rosie Napravnik and Forest Boyce.
Richard W. Small Replay
Laurel Park 11 27 2021 Race 8 Richard W Small Stakes
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo: Cordmaker (MJC)