Dontletsweetfoolya Tries Turf in 100,000 Dahlia

April 22, 2022

Cox Looking for Reason to Celebrate with Ain’t Da Beer Cold

American d’Oro Cutting Back for Season Debut in Leatherbury

LAUREL, MD – Five Hellions Farm’s 5-year-old mare Dontletsweetfoolya, a multiple stakes winner on the dirt, is entered to make her turf debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Dahlia at Laurel Park.

The one-mile Dahlia for fillies and mares 3 and up is among five $100,000 stakes on the second of consecutive Spring Stakes Spectacular Saturdays, and one of the first three scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course along with the Henry S. Clark, also at a mile, and 5 ½-furlong King T. Leatherbury, both for 3-year-olds and up.

The Dahlia, Clark and Primonetta for fillies and mares 3 and up sprinting six furlongs on the dirt are each part of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series that launched its 2022 season April 16 at Laurel.

Trained by Lacey Gaudet, Dontletsweetfoolya’s most recent victory came in a six-furlong optional claimer last November at Laurel, a race originally carded for the grass. She made her seasonal debut Jan. 29 in the Wishing Well on the all-weather surface at Turfway Park.

In addition to the surface switch, Dontletsweetfoolya will be racing beyond seven furlongs for the first time in the Dahlia.

“It’s kind of the only race that fits her. The [Primonetta] is the same day, but there’s three fillies in there that she hasn’t been able to beat in the past,” Gaudet said. “We figured it’s the beginning of the turf season. We might as well find out now whether she likes it. That way, we don’t have to chase the turf if she doesn’t, and it’ll make it easier to pick a spot. This way she doesn’t have to ship. She’s at home. We’re asking an awful lot to get the distance and go on the turf, but I think it’s worth a shot.”

Dontletsweetfoolya strung together five straight wins to end her 2020 campaign, capped by victories in the Primonetta and Willa On the Move. Since then she made her graded debut finishing off the board in the Barbara Fritchie (G3) and ran behind Kaylasaurus in the 2021 Willa On the Move and Princess Kokachin in a 5 ½-furlong allowance March 13 at Laurel. Princess Kokachin and Kaylasaurus are both entered in Saturday’s Primonetta.

“She looks incredible. She’s really grown up. She’s got a lot of muscle on her. She’s bigger right now than she probably has been, ever, if in a long time. Her workouts have been wonderful,” Gaudet said. “I think the biggest thing is going to be probably showing her speed and letting her try and be close to the pace that she hasn’t really been able to get to with Princess Kokachin and horses like that. So, she’ll probably be close to the pace and hopefully that changes the scenario for her this time.”

Dontletsweetfoolya drew Post 11 in a field of 12 and will be ridden for the first time by Luis Garcia. They are listed at 15-1 on the morning line with Grade 3-placed In a Hurry, trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, the 2-1 program favorite.

“She loves being in front. We’ve always toyed with being able to pass horses. I thought that she would be able to do it a little bit better than she’s done as of late, but she also hasn’t had a really fair shot. She didn’t really like the racetrack [last time] at Parx, broke slow and didn’t handle the racetrack,” Gaudet said. “She’s in an outside post position and if somebody wants to have speed on the inside of her, I think we’ll still stick with the plan and not let her completely gun out of there. If she sits off of it, I think that maybe she’ll be on the outside and at least be able to press the pace.”

Cox Looking for Reason to Celebrate with Ain’t Da Beer Cold

It’s been 31 years, and trainer Ken Cox still remembers the feeling of winning his first stakes race.

During the winter of 1990, Flaming Emperor won the Native Dancer for Cox at Laurel Park. It was the first of six stakes victories during a 90-race career for the Maryland-bred gelding that included 18 wins, 13 seconds, 14 thirds and nearly $700,000 in purse earnings.

Cox hopes to revisit the feeling with Matt Spencer, Kelly Jo Cox and Bonuccelli Racing’s Ain’t Da Beer Cold in Saturday’s $100,000 Native Dancer at Laurel, and create another unforgettable memory.

We’re very excited. We own the mare, we own brothers and sisters, and it helps us in our business,” Cox said. “The very first stake I ever won was the Native Dancer. The owner has never won a stake and it would be great if that were his first, as well.”

Ain’t Da Beer Cold drew Post 6 outside all but one of his rivals in the 1 1/8-mile Native Dancer for 3-year-olds and up. Second by a nose in the 2020 Anne Arundel County as a 2-year-old, the 4-year-old gelding will be ridden by Victor Carrasco.

“I’m going to leave [strategy] up to Victor,” Cox said. “He can rate. He’s very game on the front end. He likes to look a horse in the eye. He can go head and head and it won’t bother him. It’ll be the pace. I shouldn’t see him more than a length or two, if at all, off the pace going a mile and an eighth. If one of them decide they want to try to rate a little bit, we won’t have a problem going to the lead, as well.”

Winless in five starts last year, Ain’t Da Beer cold has one win, one second and one third in three starts so far this year, all with Carrasco up. His victory came by eight lengths in front-running fashion Feb. 13 at Laurel in a 1 1/16-mile restricted allowance.

“Last year was baffling. We thought he was training good. It was one of those things [where] you kind of make excuses. You think he’s doing good, but wasn’t the same,” Cox said. “We did some bloodwork and saw some things that weren’t right, so we gave him a break. He’s had a form reversal since then, and he’s showed up at every race and done everything we’ve asked of him in his last few starts.”

Cox said the Ain’t Da Beer Cold’s name derives from the catch phrase of late Orioles and Colts radio and TV broadcaster Chuck Thompson, who also used it as the title of his autobiography.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF6lni_pFuQ

“Anytime anything big happened, that was his saying, ‘Ain’t the beer cold,’” Cox said. “I was watching some broadcasts a few years back of just classic stuff I remember as a child, heard the saying and I was like, ‘That name has to be taken.’ I looked it up and it wasn’t, and I said, ‘That’s the perfect name for this horse.’”

American d’Oro Cutting Back for Season Debut in Leatherbury

Sterling Road Stables and LBR Racing Stable’s American d’Oro will cut back to a sprint for the first time since last summer when he makes his 4-year-old debut in Saturday’s $100,000 King T. Leatherbury at Laurel Park.

The gelded son of 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, trained by Richard Sillaman, hasn’t raced since capturing a one-mile allowance over older horses Dec. 23 at Tampa Bay Downs.

“We took him to Tampa to freshen him up a little bit. We ran him one time and he won,” Sillaman said. “Two days later he was on the farm for six weeks and then back into training again.

“[He’s] very fresh, maturing. That was the whole idea, turning him out and let him mature because he’s a nervous horse,” he added. “He just needed to grow, and he’s come back working super.”

American d’Oro has gone up against his elders for much of his career, including a 1 ¼-length maiden triumph last August at historic Pimlico Race Course going five furlongs. He hasn’t raced shorter than a mile since.

Jockey Daniel Centeno is unbeaten on American d’Oro, up for both his graduation and his Florida victory. They drew the rail in a field of 10 for the 5 ½-furlong turf dash.

“He broke his maiden going five-eighths at Pimlico which is a tough feat for a distance horse. Danny’s been on him a bunch of times and he suggested running him at 5 ½. He thinks he’ll do better,” Sillaman said.

“[I’m] not crazy about the one post, but you always have traffic problems in turf races,” he added. “He’s a little bit of a nervous horse so standing in the gate bothers me more than anything. I think he’ll lay about eight or lengths off of it and hopefully make a big run.”

Laurel Park Press Release

Photo: Dontletsweetfoolya (Laurel Park Photo)

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