LAUREL, MD – Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables’ Maythehorsebwithu, who became a stakes winner in dominant fashion last month, will stretch out for his longest race to date off his shortest turnaround yet in Saturday’s $100,000 Private Terms at Laurel Park.
The 32nd 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. 20 and preceding the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio April 17, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 146th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.
A total of five stakes worth $450,000 in purses will be offered on Saturday’s nine-race program, including the $100,000 Beyond the Wire for 3-year-old fillies, where Street Lute will go after her seventh career stakes win and sixth in a row.
First race post time is 12:25 p.m.
Maythehorsebwithu returns in 21 days following a four-length triumph in the Miracle Wood, which was rescheduled from Feb. 13 due to inclement weather. Trainer Brittany Russell left the decision to run up to the bay gelding, who breezed a half-mile 48 seconds March 6 at Laurel, third-fastest of 60 horses.
“He never misses a beat. He’s a high-energy horse. He loves his training and the way he bounces out of his races and he trains in the morning, he just always acts like he’s looking for more work,” Russell said. “With that being said, I don’t believe three weeks will be an issue.
“Also, we’ve spaced his races pretty well in the past. You hope at a time like this it helps you,” she added. “He hasn’t had a terribly tough go of it racing back quickly. He always seems like he’s had a reasonable amount of time in between.”
Maythehorsebwithu ran second in a pair of stakes, including a neck loss to Kenny Had a Notion in the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid Jan. 16, before his breakthrough score in the Miracle Wood. His two other races at Laurel have resulted in wins, including a six-furlong optional claiming allowance Dec. 11 to cap his juvenile campaign.
“We felt like he had an effort like that in him, so it was rewarding to see him get the job done. He has some gas, this horse, and I didn’t think the distance would bother him,” Russell said. “He also has a turn of foot and that helps. As these races get longer you want a horse with a little bit of gas and a horse that keeps going and I think he’s that type.”
Russell believes the added distance will continue to benefit Maythehorsebwithu, a son of Bullsbay, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Whitney (G1) in 2009 at Saratoga. He has also shown the versatility to win from on or off the pace, which the trainer feels is another feather in his cap.
“He has that ability to him, which is great, but he’s sensible. If it came down to it, he would sit. He’s a smart horse, too. You just want them to sort of answer those questions each time and so far he seems the type,” she said. “I don’t think [distance] should be an issue. The way he trains in the morning, he’ll go around there around there as many times as you want him to.”
Russell’s husband, jockey Sheldon Russell, rides from Post 2 in a field of seven at co-topweight of 122 pounds.
Pocket 3’s Racing’s Shackqueenking, by 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford, won the 1 1/16-mile Howard County Dec. 26 in his 2-year-old finale and ran third in the Spectacular Bid to open 2021. Most recently he tired to be eighth in the 1 1/8-mile Withers (G3) Feb. 6 at Aqueduct after running in contention for six furlongs.
“He dug in there turning for home and gave it a good shot and then inside the eighth pole he was just getting a little tired,” trainer Gary Capuano said. “Other than the race in New York he’s been pretty consistent. He just kind of got outrun. I don’t want to give him a whole lot of excuses because there isn’t any. He came into the race good and he came out of the race good and he’s been training really well since then. We’ll stay local and go back to the two turns here and see what happens.”
Shackqueenking ran second in a one-mile Laurel allowance Dec. 13 to Hello Hot Rod, a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Hello Beautiful who subsequently won the Jimmy Winkfield at Aqueduct and was sold by Russell, his trainer and co-owner, at auction for $335,000. In the Howard County, Shackqueenking dueled the length of the stretch with Ain’t Da Beer Cold to prevail by a nose.
“He’s a fighter,” Capuano said. “He has improved and he’s still got some improving to do. He’s come along. He’s a big, strong horse and he can take some training. We’ll see how the race comes up and go from there.”
Shackqueenking will carry 122 pounds including jockey Victor Rosales from outside Post 7.
Capuano also entered another Shackleford offspring in ZWP Stable Inc. and Non Stop Stable’s Shackled Love, second in back-to-back optional claiming allowance races at Laurel, the latter as the favorite Jan. 30 in her most recent start.
Victor Rosales has the riding assignment from outside Post 7.
Also exiting the Withers, where he ran fourth in his stakes debut, is R. Larry Johnson and R.D.M. Racing Stable’s Royal Number. A chestnut son of 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1) and 2014 Met Mile (G1) winner Palace Malice, Royal Number cruised to a 7 ¾-length optional claiming allowance triumph Jan. 9 at Laurel.
“He ran really well that day and I chose the New York race over the [Miracle Wood] just for the sheer fact that it was a two-turn race versus a one-turn mile. I just think he kind of enjoys the two-turn atmosphere a little bit better,” trainer Michael Trombetta said. “The track was a little deep that day but I thought he ran good. I was happy with him. He came out of it well.”
Julian Pimentel will be aboard from Post 5.
Joseph Besecker’s Zertz, by 2010 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Super Saver, enters the Private Terms off an 11 ¼-length allowance romp going six furlongs Feb. 17 at Penn National for trainer Tim Kreiser, and will be racing outside of Pennsylvania for the first time. Feargal Lynch has the call from Post 4.
Philmor Racing Stable’s Excellorator, worse than third once in seven career starts with three wins, will be making his stakes debut in the Private Terms. The bay son of 2013 Derby winner Orb will be racing for the first time since being claimed by trainer Hugh McMahon for $62,500 out of a 6 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance Feb. 12 at Laurel.
Completing the field is HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing’s Commodore Perry, a Kentucky-based maiden yet to race on conventional dirt after two starts over Turfway Park’s synthetic surface.
Maryland Jockey Club Press Release
Photo: Maythehorsebwithu, (Maryland Jockey Club)