Maryland Champion Joe Returns in $100,000 Private Terms

March 16, 2022

Colt Named for President Puts Streak to Test in 3-Year-Old Stake; Among Five Stakes Worth $450,000 in Purses Saturday, March 19

LAUREL, Md. – The Elkstone Group’s homebred colt Joe, recently crowned the Maryland-bred champion juvenile of 2021, puts a three-race win streak on the line when he returns to action in Saturday’s $100,000 Private Terms at Laurel Park.

The 33rd running of the Private Terms at about 1 1/16 miles is the next step in Laurel’s series of stakes for 3-year-olds following the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 19 and preceding the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio April 16, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 147th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 21 at Pimlico Race Course.

A total of five stakes worth $450,000 in purses will be offered on Saturday’s 11-race program, including the $100,000 Beyond the Wire for 3-year-old fillies. First race post time is 12:40 p.m.

Joe’s connections opted to pass on the Miracle Wood both to give the Declaration of War colt – named for President Joe Biden – greater spacing off a season-opening victory in a Jan. 23 allowance at Laurel going the Private Terms distance and to keep him around two turns.

“He’s doing good,” trainer Michael Trombetta said. “We skipped the Miracle Wood with him to give him a little extra time because he had run a couple times fairly close. He’s trained really well and we’re looking forward to running him.”

Out of the Arch mare Battle Bridge, Joe ran fifth in his late October unveiling over Laurel’s world-class turf course before being moved to the dirt, where he graduated by 3 ½ lengths in a one-mile maiden special weight Thanksgiving week. He won the seven-furlong Maryland Juvenile in mid-December in his stakes debut, rallying from far back with a powerful six-wide stretch move to prevail by a length and a half.

“Quite honestly, I was getting very good feedback on him in late summer. It’s been good,” Trombetta said. “He’s a big, good-looking guy. I still think he’s bred for grass and he does the dirt. I think there’s a whole lot of stuff that he can get himself into if he continues on the path that he’s going.”

Regular rider Victor Carrasco will be aboard from Post 7 in a field of eight.

“I think there’s a lot of upside yet for him,” Trombetta said. “He hasn’t been tested super hard – state-bred race [stakes], allowance race, maiden race. Now it’s time to turn the heat up a little bit and see how he does with it.”

Trombetta also entered Sonata Stable’s Conclusive, a son of 2016 Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist that ran sixth as the co-favorite in the Miracle Wood, his stakes debut. He graduated going 1 1/8 miles in an off-the-turf maiden special weight last Halloween and began 2022 with a front-running 5 ¾-length allowance triumph Jan. 2 over a muddy main track.

“I thought he would run better,” Trombetta said. “I don’t know if going back to a one-turn mile complicated things or not. He’s had better success at two-turn races than he has at a one-turn mile, and I don’t have a great explanation for why that is. I’m anxious to try him back around two turns.”

Laurel’s winter meet-leading rider Jevian Toledo gets the assignment from Post 1.

Bird Mobberley’s Maryland-bred Local Motive stretched out to a mile for the first time in the Miracle Wood. He raced close to the front for a half-mile, took a commanding lead into the stretch and went on to win by two lengths. It was the third stakes win for the Divining Rod gelding, following the seven-furlong James F. Lewis III at Laurel and five-furlong Hickory Tree over the Colonial Downs turf last summer.

Local Motive and Joe met once before in the Maryland Juvenile, when Local Motive tired to fifth after disputing the early pace between horses. J.D. Acosta returns to ride from Post 2.

“The horse is training good, and he’s worked really good into this race,” trainer John Salzman said. “I would have worked him twice but I missed a work with him. He grabbed a quarter just bucking and playing on the racetrack so I skipped a work with him, but he’s doing really good.

“My question is, how far will he really go?” he added. “He’s getting better with every start I feel. As long as he’s close and lays just a bit off the pace he’ll be in good shape, or he can set the pace if there is none.”

Also exiting the Miracle Wood is runner-up Majestic Frontier. Gerald Grabcheski and Renate Jackson’s gelded son of Grade 1 winner Keen Ice bumped with co-favorite Perfect Day at the eighth pole and had his two-race win streak snapped.

“He had trouble last time and finished second, so I think that he’s got a shot. He could have won that day, so I’m looking forward to trying him back,” trainer John ‘Jerry’ Robb said. “He had a few problems that needed to be worked out and that we got worked out. They still bug him a little bit but he’s been getting better and better and better.”

Xavier Perez will be aboard from Post 3.

J R Sanchez Racing Stable’s Shake Em Loose won the Dec. 26 Heft at Laurel in his first start since being claimed for $16,000 by trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon. He returned in the Jan. 29 Spectacular Bid, also at seven furlongs, but lost all chance after rearing when the gates opened and wound up seventh.

Shake Em Loose rebounded in an optional claiming allowance going one mile Feb. 27, making a bold move on the turn and powering through the stretch to a 3 ¾-length triumph. Charlie Marquez, up for that effort, returns from outside Post 8.

“Thank God he’s doing awesome right now. He’s great. I just worked him the other day and he worked unbelievable. He really impressed me. I hope he doesn’t have any problems coming out of the gate,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “That’s what happened the last time he ran in a stake. He broke in the air coming out of the gate and that was it. He rushed up a little bit and then relaxed but he had just rushed too much. He’s going into it pretty good. I hope he runs well. I think he will. I think he’s going to impress even more this time.”

Shipping in from New York is Stud El Aguila’s Eagle in Love, a gelded son of 2011 Florida Derby (G1) winner Dialed In that went unraced at 2 but was a 4 ¾-length maiden special weight winner in debut Feb. 3 at Aqueduct for trainer Rob Atras.

Completing the field are Martin Carmichael’s Micro Star, a front-running waiver maiden claiming winner by 7 ¼ lengths Jan. 16 at Laurel, and Built Wright Stables’ Maximum Impact, respectively fourth and fifth behind Shake Em Loose last month. Maximum Impact finished fifth in the Miracle Wood.

Maryland Jockey Club Press Release
Photo Joe winning an AOC under Victor Carrasco at Laurel Park Jan. 22, 2022. It was his third win in a row. (Maryland Jockey Club)

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