Grooms All Bizness Pre-Entered for G1 July Cup in England 

May 31, 2024

Grooms All Bizness could be going across the pond. (Anika Miskar/Past The Wire)

5YO Gelding Earned Automatic Entry with Jim McKay Turf Win

+ Nominations Close Sunday for $100,000 Stormy Blues June 16
+ Laurel Park Offering Advance Belmont Day Wagering June 7

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – Colts Neck Stables homebred Grooms All Bizness, comeback winner of the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint on the Preakness Stakes (G1) undercard May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course, has been pre-entered for the My Pension Export July Cup (G1) in Newmarket, England.

Grooms All Bizness launched his 5-year-old season with a 1 ½-length victory in the five-furlong Jim McKay, earning automatic entry and a travel incentive to the July Cup, contested at 1,200 meters or six furlongs on the grass July 13 for a purse of more than $630,000 (U.S.). For 3-year-olds and up, it is considered one of the most valuable and prestigious sprints of the British flat racing calendar, run at the sister course to Newmarket’s Rowley Mile.

The first two runnings of the July Cup were won in 1876 and 1877 by Springfield, bred by Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

“It’s always good to keep all your options open. If I missed a week or two with him or the timing leads well into that, at least I have that race in my back pocket versus if I didn’t have it. It’s a great idea from 1/ST [Racing]. It brings another option to the table,” trainer Jorge Duarte Jr. said.

“I’ve lived in France, and I didn’t work in England, but I’ve been there. It’s definitely different with the way they train and everything,” he added. “I think this horse would actually benefit because he does not mind a soft turf or any kind of give in the ground. That’s why I found it interesting. I was like, ‘It’s not a crazy thought to at least nominate and have it as an option,’ so that’s what we did.”

Grooms All Bizness is scheduled to return to the work tab for the first time since the McKay Friday at the operation’s home base in Colts Neck, N.J. Duarte is pointing the Fed Biz gelding to the 5 ½-furlong Jaipur (G1) June 8 at Saratoga on the undercard of the Belmont Stakes (G1).

“He’s doing good. He’s been a handful. He was a handful that day at Preakness between all the people and himself just being so sharp,” Duarte said. “He has the same energy level right now. We’re going to breeze him a little bit here tomorrow. If everything’s all systems go, we’re going to enter him for the Jaipur.

“I followed up on [the July Cup] and we did the pre-entry, which is like our nominations here in America. It opens up another option for us,” he added. “We’ll take one heat at a time. I think [the Jaipur] makes sense because it’s close to home and you get a free berth for the Breeders’ Cup if you jump up and win the race.”

Duarte, 39, is a native of Columbia that won 424 races as a jockey between 2000 and 2010 and later spent time overseas before returning to the U.S. and working four years as an assistant trainer at Colts Neck before taking over in 2019 for previous boss Alan Goldberg. 

“I worked in Saudi Arabia and Dubai and France, so I kind of know what it takes to take a horse there. It’s a little bit of preparation,” Duarte said. “It does take a little bit out of the horse to take them out of their normal routine, but it’s a lot of money, too. The horse is doing good, so he’ll steer us in the right direction.”

Duarte said Grooms All Bizness, out of the Candy Ride mare Bride to Be, continues to do well out of the McKay, his first race in more than nine months and his second stakes victory. He has been third or better in 10 of 13 career starts, five of them wins.

“I’ve been very happy with the way he’s been training this year. We gelded him last year and he came back, and he’s just done everything right. He’s always been a horse that’s very consistent. He always tries,” Duarte said. “For some reason he’s just been thriving through training. We didn’t think we were going to win [the McKay] like that, but we definitely were expecting a good performance just from the way he’d been doing things.

“He’s a homebred and I raced the mare. It’s just fun to work with horses that crop after crop you’re like, ‘I trained the mother,’” he added. “It means we’re getting a little older, but it is nice to witness it anyway.”

Nominations Close Sunday for $100,000 Stormy Blues June 16

Free nominations close Sunday, June 2 for the $100,000 Stormy Blues June 16 at Laurel Park.

Scheduled at 5 ½ furlongs on the grass, the Stormy Blues for 3-year-old fillies kicks off the stakes schedule during Laurel’s 33-day summer meet that opened Friday.

The Stormy Blues headlines a special Father’s Day program that also includes Bourbon and BBQ and a vintage car show (weather permitting). For more information, visit: https://am.ticketmaster.com/marylandjockeyclub/BBQ

Entries will be taken, and post positions drawn for the Stormy Blues on Monday, June 10. To make a nomination, contact stakes coordinator Eleanor Albert at Eleanor.Albert@marylandracing.com or call 301-725-0400.

Laurel Park Offering Advance Belmont Day Wagering June 7

In addition to its own live race program, Laurel Park will offer advance wagering Friday, June 7 for the entire Belmont Stakes (G1) card Saturday, June 8 from Saratoga Race Course.

Post time June 7 and 8 at Laurel is 12:25 p.m. Laurel will open its doors at 10 a.m. on June 8 ahead of a 14-race Belmont Day program that begins at 10:45 a.m. Post time for the Belmont is scheduled for 6:41 p.m.

Among the horses pointing to the Belmont are Seize the Grey, front-running upset winner of the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course; Kentucky Derby (G1) winner and Preakness runner-up Mystik Dan; and the undefeated and lightly raced Mindframe, bred in Maryland by R. Larry Johnson and purchased as a yearling for $600,000 last fall by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables.

Hillwood Stable’s Post Time, trained by Laurel Park-based Brittany Russell and winner of the Carter (G2) and General George (G3) this year, is probable for the Met Mile (G1). Post Time was bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Dr. Brooke Bowman and Milton Higgins III.

Notes ~ ~ ~ 

Fresh off leading the Preakness Meet standings at Pimlico, jockey Jaime Rodriguez doubled on Friday’s summer meet opening day at Laurel aboard Super Needy ($3.60) in Race 2 and Rad Paisley ($4) in Race 4 … 

Hit the Road Brat ($15.20), a 3-year-old homebred of the late Alex Campbell Jr., collared favorite Hollywoodland in mid-stretch and edged clear to win Race 7, a maiden special weight for fillies and mares ages 3, 4 and 5, by 1 ½ lengths. The winning time was 1:36.55 for one mile over a firm Kelso turf course layout. Ridden by Victor Carrasco for trainer Graham Motion, Hit the Road Brat is by Quality Road out of the Uncle Mo mare Ultra Brat … 

Laurel’s 10-race program Saturday kicks off at 12:25 p.m.

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