LAUREL, Md. – Kenny Had a Notion and Maythehorsebwithu, separated by a neck following a stretch-long duel in the Spectacular Bid last month, will hook up again as the primary challengers in Saturday’s $100,000 Miracle Wood at Laurel Park.
The 26th running of the one-mile Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds and the 28th renewal of the $100,000 Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies are among six stakes, two graded, worth $900,000 on the nine-race Winter Sprintfest program.
Serving as co-headliners are the $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3) for fillies and mares 4 and up and the $250,000 General George (G3) for 4-year-olds and up, both sprinting seven furlongs. Older horses will also go about 1 1/16 miles in the $100,000 John B. Campbell and $100,000 Nellie Morse for females.
Post time for the first of nine races is 12:25 p.m. The Miracle Wood will kick off the stakes action in Race 3 (1:23 p.m.) with the Street Lute carded as Race 6 (2:53 p.m.).
The Miracle Wood will be the third meeting between Kenny Had a Notion and Maythehorsebwithu dating back to the First State Dash last September at Delaware Park, where they ran sixth and second, respectively.
Since then, Louis Ulman and Neil Glasser’s Kenny Had a Notion won the 5 ½-furlong Jamestown over Laurel’s world-class turf course and the six-furlong Maryland Million Nursery on dirt – one of four wins on the program for sire Great Notion – before running sixth in the James F. Lewis III and emerging with a displaced palate that required minor surgery.
Stretched out to seven furlongs for his two most recent starts, Kenny Had a Notion capped his juvenile campaign running second by a neck to James Lewis winner No Cents before his thrilling battle with Maythehorsebwithu in the Spectacular Bid.
“He’s pretty game and he’s going into this well. He worked good the other day so we’ll stretch him out another eighth and see if he can get another eight against these horses,” trainer Dale Capuano said. “I think that he can do it. He sure seems like it. Until he does it you don’t know for sure, but all indications are he could go at least another eighth of a mile, I think. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.”
Kenny Had a Notion broke running in the Spectacular Bid, briefly losing the lead entering the stretch, but surged again along the rail for his third career stakes win. Jorge Ruiz, aboard for all three races, gets the return call from Post 5 in a field of seven.
“He has a lot of speed so I would assume that he’ll probably in front again. We’ll have to see if he can carry his speed that far, really,” Capuano said. “He came out of his race good so he’s ready to go again. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see how he runs and how he comes out of it and then we’ll decide what we’ll do with him after this. But we have options.”
Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables’ Maythehorsebwithu is the narrow 2-1 program favorite in the Miracle Wood over Kenny Had a Notion (5-2). Trained by Brittany Russell, the gelded son of 2009 Whitney (G1) winner Bullsbay has been sent to post as the favorite in each of his last three starts.
“He’s great. He’s a really good-training horse and he comes out of every race so far the same way. He touts himself. He trains well, and he hasn’t missed a beat,” Russell said. “You want a horse like him. He has gas, but I think he’ll keep going. I think he’ll be fun moving forward.”
Maythehorsebwithu will also be racing beyond seven furlongs for the first time. He broke his maiden at first asking going 5 ½ furlongs in a maiden claimer last summer at Delaware, and captured a six-furlong optional claiming allowance Dec. 11 in his Laurel debut to punch his return ticket to stakes company.
“He ran really hard last time. I like this horse enough that I can see him jumping up and winning one of these races,” Russell said. “I think he’ll like the mile, but you don’t know until you try. He trains in the morning like he’ll keep going, so I’m excited to see how the mile sets up for him.”
Russell’s husband, jockey Sheldon Russell, gets the riding assignment from Post 4.
Klaravich Stables’ Subsidize ships in from New York where he was a 3 ½-length maiden special weight winner Jan. 7 at Aqueduct in his fourth career start and first at 3. Victor Carrasco, who missed time recently with a minor toe injury, will ride for trainer Chad Brown from outside Post 7.
Kathleen and Robert Verratti’s Silent Service was a front-running 6 ¾-length debut winner Jan. 22 at Laurel for trainer Mike Trombetta, whose first of four career Miracle Wood wins came in 2006 with Sweetnorthernsaint, who would go on to win the Illinois Derby (G3), run seventh as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and second in the Preakness (G1). Silent Service is also entered in a 6 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance Friday at Laurel.
Rounding out the field are Tiz Mandate, most recently fourth in the Spectacular Bid; multiple stakes-placed Newyearsblockparty, second last out in the seven-furlong Pasco Jan. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs; and The King Cheek.
Laurel Park Press Release
Photos Courtesy of Maryland Jockey Club