Double Crown Returns in Maryland Million Sprint

October 22, 2021

So Street Chasing Second Stakes Victory in $100,000 Turf Sprint

Special 11:30 A.M. Post for 36th Jim McKay Maryland Million Program

LAUREL, Md. – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Double Crown, a two-time stakes winner that is also twice Grade 3-placed, brings a record of success to his home state as he ships in from Kentucky for Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint at Laurel Park.

The six-furlong Sprint for 3-year-olds and up on the main track and $100,000 Turf Sprint, a 5 ½-furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up, are among eight stakes and four starter stakes on the 36th Jim McKay Maryland Million program, ‘Maryland’s Day at the Races’ celebrating the progeny of stallions standing in the state.

Highlighted by the $150,000 Classic for 3-year-olds and up, first race post time is 11:30 a.m. 

Bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman and Rebecca Davis, Double Crown was an impressive debut winner by a neck over Ournationonparade in September 2019, his only previous run at Laurel. Both horses were purchased privately by Dean Reeves following the race, and Ournationonparade would return the following month to capture the Maryland Million Nursery.

Double Crown was sent to South Florida, where he won the 6 ½-furlong Roar and seven-furlong Carry Back and was third in the Smile Sprint (G3) last summer at Gulfstream Park. The 4-year-old Bourbon Courage gelding was at historic Pimlico Race Course last fall for the Chick Lang (G3), where he ran second to Yaupon.

This year, Double Crown had one win and one second from four starts and was fifth in the July 3 Smile Sprint (G3) before being sent to Keeneland-based trainer Tom Amoss, for whom he will be making his first start.

“He’s been working out at Keeneland and he’s had some good breezes. He’s doing good, he looks great and he seems to feeling good, Reeves said. “It’s not too long a ship. We had come from Florida the other times, and coming from Kentucky is not quite as bad. Hopefully that’ll help. We’re looking forward to it. I think we’re going to be real competitive in it.”

Double Crown is favored at 9-5 and drew Post 7 in the main body of a field of 12 where fellow multiple stakes winners Jaxon Traveler (7-5) and Whereshetoldmetogo (8-5) join Abuelo Paps and Where Paradise Lay on the also eligible list.

“He’s just so consistent and tough. He runs every time. You’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game if you’re going to beat him. He just does it all right. He goes to the track and he works hard in training. He’s just been a great horse to have as part of the stable,” Reeves said. “The Maryland program is a solid program and I think he fits with the upper echelon of horses in that program. I think it’ll be a really good race, and we’re excited to be coming.”

Feargal Lynch gets the riding assignment from Post 7.

Bred, owned and trained by longtime Maryland horseman Nancy Heil, Karan’s Notion sprung a front-running 16-1 upset of last year’s Sprint, the first of back-to-back victories for the gelded son of Great Notion, who ranks third all-time among stallions with 16 Maryland Million wins.

Karan’s Notion (10-1) in winless in six starts this year, returning from a five-month break to be seventh going 6 ½ furlongs Aug. 27 at Timonium. Following a failed turf experiment Sept. 11 at Laurel, he returned to the dirt and rebounded to be second by three lengths in a similar 5 ½-furlong optional claimer Oct. 1.

“Our first two races [after the break] were not good. He didn’t like the turf and then he got the one hole at Timonium and was going to duck in there where you break and he had to take up and he displaced and just trailed the field,” Heil said. “He did have a nice little prep before this race and he’s training very well, so I think he’s coming in just as good as he did last year.”

Karan’s Notion has raced primarily at Laurel, with four wins and five seconds in 12 of his 16 lifetime starts. Regular rider Yomar Ortiz gets the return call from Post 6.

“In training he’s done everything right. He couldn’t do it any better. I have to throw away the first two races and just go on. In the last race, he was rated a little bit and he got stuck behind some horses, so he couldn’t catch the speed at all. But, he did get open late and got second. He’s running his heart out,” Heil said. “He likes to run on the front. He likes to be free. My only hope is that he gets free to run and then the best horse wins.”

Louis Ulman and Neil Glasser’s Kenny Had a Notion (12-1) was a stakes winner on both turf and dirt as a 2-year-old, capturing the Maryland Million Nursery over stablemate Alwaysinahurry. He won the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid Jan. 16 at Laurel to open 2021 but has struggled with one second and two thirds in six subsequent starts. He was third, a neck behind runner-up Karan’s Notion, in the Oct. 1 race at Laurel and his trainer, Dale Capuano, has the most wins in Maryland Million history with 14.

Second choice on the morning line at 2-1 is Smart Angle’s Fortheluvofbourbon, a winner of four of seven starts, all at Parx, for trainer Michael Pino since being claimed for $50,000 last May at Churchill Downs. Among the victories was the six-furlong Banjo Picker Sprint Aug. 23, contested over a sloppy and sealed track.

Also entered are Valued Notion and Air Token, respectively first and second in an off-the-turf edition of the five-furlong Ben’s Cat June 13 at Pimlico; Whiskey and You, most recently fifth in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Sept. 18; and Band On Tour, a winner of two straight of four of his last five races.

So Street Chasing Second Stakes Victory in $100,000 Turf Sprint

So Street winning the Howard County Stakes and earning Black Type under Trevor McCarthy on Sept. 28 2019 at Laurel Park. (MJC)

More than two years after becoming a stakes winner in the 2019 Howard County at Laurel, Runnymoore Racing’s 4-year-old gelding So Street goes after an elusive second stakes victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Million Turf Sprint.

Bred in Maryland by R. Larry Johnson and trained by Jamie Ness, So Street ran second to Fiya in last year’s Turf Sprint when it was reintroduced following a seven-year absence. He has gone winless since, finishing sixth in the 2019 Maryland Million Nursery.

“He’s just got bad luck,” trainer Jamie Ness said. “Every time we’re in a good spot, it comes off the turf, or he’s been right there every time. He’s ready but, unfortunately, just hasn’t won.”

Sixteen of So Street’s 20 career races have come in stakes. He has placed four times since the Howard County, contested at 5 ½ furlongs on the Laurel turf, with a third in the 2019 Atlantic Beach and seconds in the 2020 Tom Ridge, Laurel Dash and Turf Sprint. He has also finished fourth three times, including the Aug. 23 Parx Dash (G3).

“I think he’s in a great spot,” Ness said. “We’re restricted to Maryland-sired so it’s a little easier than all those other stakes I’ve run him in. He runs just good enough to make me run him back in stakes, but he just can’t quite get there. Maybe Saturday is his day. We’re hoping. He tries. He really tries.”

Rated at 3-1 on the morning line, So Street will have Jaime Rodriguez aboard from Post 6 in a field of 11 that includes also-eligible Can the Queen, winner of the July 24 Sensible Lady Turf Dash at historic Pimlico Race Course.

Favored at 7-5 in the program is Gordon Keys’ homebred Grateful Bred, fourth in last year’s Turf Sprint and winner of the 5 ½-furlong Meadow Stable July 19 on the Colonial Downs turf. In his most recent start, the 5-year-old Great Notion gelding was fifth, beaten a length, by Xy Speed in the Oct. 2 Laurel Dash.

Joining the top two returning from last year’s Turf Sprint are Godlovesasinner (third), Love You Much (fifth) and Joseph (sixth). Showtime Cat, Sue Loves Barbados, Sky’s Not Falling, Rock the Boat and Grand Skylark are also entered.

For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE.

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

Top Photo: Double Crown breaking his maiden under Alex Cintron on Sept. 8, 2019 at Laurel Park. (MJC) 

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