Kenny Had a Notion Returns to Winner’s Circle in Thursday Feature

November 12, 2021

Nominations Close This Weekend for Thanksgiving Stakes at Laurel Park

LAUREL, Md. – Louis J. Ulman and H. Neil Glasser’s multiple stakes winner Kenny Had a Notion collared long shot leader Rookie Salsa in deep stretch and surged past late to snap a seven-race losing streak in Thursday’s stakes-quality feature at Laurel Park.

The second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up drew a field of eight including fellow stakes winners Trifor Gold, Honor the Fleet and Karan’s Notion. It marked the fifth career win and first since the Jan. 16 Spectacular Bid for Kenny Had a Notion ($8), and third on the program for jockey Jorge Ruiz. The winning time was 1:22.96 for seven furlongs over a fast main track.

“He’d run well in his two previous races at seven-eighths, so it seems like it’s a good distance for him,” winning trainer Dale Capuano said. “He broke running and Jorge had a lot of horse. When he’s on the bit like that, he’s tough. He’s game when he gets next to a horse.”

Breaking from the rail, Kenny Had a Notion settled in fourth as multiple stakes-placed Wentz, an eight-time winner that was four-for-six lifetime at seven furlongs, was quickest from the gate and led through fractions of 22.93 and 46 seconds pressed by Karan’s Notion. Karan’s Notion took a short lead on the turn but was quickly overcome by 10-1 Rookie Salsa entering the stretch.

Ruiz, aboard Kenny Had a Notion for his last 10 starts, tipped out at the top of the stretch and came with a steady run down the center of the track to reel in Rookie Salsa and get up by a neck. Honor the Fleet rallied late for third.

“We wanted him to break and see where he’s at, because Jorge knows him so well. The key with him is to get a good break,” Capuano said. “I figured [Wentz] would send, which he did. Luckily, he was able to get out and get around him.”

Kenny Had a Notion, a gelded 3-year-old son of Great Notion, won four of his first seven starts including Laurel stakes wins on turf in the Jamestown and dirt in the Maryland Million Nursery. Prior to Thursday, he had one second and two thirds in seven tries following the Spectacular Bid.

“That was a pretty good time today,” Capuano said. “When he can fight with somebody, he’s pretty game. That was nice.”

Nominations Close This Weekend for Thanksgiving Stakes at Laurel

Starting Friday, free nominations close for a quintet of Thanksgiving weekend stakes worth $450,000 in purses at Laurel Park.

Nominations are free to all five stakes.

Closing Friday are nominations to the $75,000 Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial for 3-year-olds and up going seven furlongs and $75,000 Politely for fillies and mares 3 and up sprinting six furlongs. Both races are restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses and will be run Friday, Nov. 26.

Closing Saturday are nominations to three stakes on Saturday, Nov. 27 – the $100,000 City of Laurel for 3-year-olds and $100,000 Safely Kept for 3-year-old fillies, both sprinting seven furlongs, and $100,000 Richard W. Small for 3-year-olds and up. The 1 1/8-mile Small is part of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series.

Notes: 

Jockey Jorge Ruiz tripled Thursday aboard Confusion Baby Boy ($7.40) in Race 4, Francis X. ($6) in Race 6 and Kenny Had a Notion ($8) in Race 7 … Francis X. was a pickup mount for Ruiz after original rider Denis Araujo was unseated from Goldie’s Boy in Race 5. Araujo was able to get up on his own … Post time for Friday’s nine-race card is 12:25 p.m.

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

Photo: Kenny Had a Notion with Jorge Ruiz up beats Rookie Salsa to the wire by a neck in an AOC at Laurel Park. (MJC)

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