G3 winner Wondrwherecraigis likely to return in Fire Plug at Laurel
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Brittany Russell will send out the improving Gamestonks in Sunday’s $100,000 Busanda, a nine-furlong test for sophomore fillies offering 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-four finishers.
The dark bay daughter of Blofeld made her first two starts in maiden claimers at Laurel Park, closing to finish eighth in her November 5 debut sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs ahead of a half-length score traveling 1 1/16-miles on November 26 over Jacrodra’sDevil, who exited that effort to win a maiden special weight in December at Charles Town. Jacrodra’sDevil is entered back in Friday’s seventh race at the Big A.
“I never thought she was a sprinter,” Russell said. “First time out it’s sometimes hard to get the right spot to go. She ran great when she broke her maiden. I don’t know what she beat that day, but she did it the right way.”
Last out, Gamestonks romped to an 11 1/4-length score in a one-mile optional-claimer on January 5 at Parx.
“It was a great spot at Parx and she took her show on the road and did it the right way,” Russell said. “We would love to have run her in an allowance race, but she seems to want a route of ground and we’re going to get that up there. Hopefully, she can get a piece of it.”
Bred in Maryland by JSM Equine, Gamestonks was purchased by owner Designated Hitters Racing for $13,000 at the 2021 OBS June 2-Year-Old and Horses of Racing Age Sale. Out of the Union Rags mare Union Way, Gamestonks has banked $38,295 through three starts.
Russell said the attractive Gamestonks has improved with racing.
“She’s balanced and has some leg to her. She’s quite a pretty filly and has really matured,” Russell said. “Through each race you can notice a change in her physically, and she actually has quite an athletic look to her now.”
Trevor McCarthy will pilot Gamestonks.
“She’s done everything right,” Russell said. “Hopefully, she can keep going the right way.”
Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables and Michael J. Caruso’s Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap winner Wondrwherecraigis scratched out of the $100,000 Gravesend in December at the Big A with a foot infection.
The 5-year-old Munnings gelding has since posted a series of works at Laurel Park, including a five-eighths effort in 1:01 flat on January 14 over the Laurel Park main track.
“He’s doing great. He’s been dodging snowflakes, but his health seems to be back to where we need it,” Russell said.
The consistent Wondrwherecraigis, who boasts a record of 10-6-1-1 with purse earnings of $347,640, earned a career-best 104 Beyer for his gate-to-wire score last out in the seven-furlong Bold Ruler which was contested over a sloppy and sealed main track on October 31.
Russell said Wondrwherecraigis, who is nominated to the seven-furlong Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan on January 29 at the Big A, is likely to make his next start in the six-furlong $100,000 Fire Plug which was re-scheduled to January 29 at Laurel.
“We’re leaning towards the Laurel race because it’sthree-quarters,” Russell said. “He hasn’t run since he was up there at the end of October, so we’re trying to keep it simple and keep him home.”
Russell said she is hoping Wondrwherecraigis will continue to develop in 2022.
“He’s a big, strong horse and he seems to be improving,” Russell said. “As long as we can keep him healthy and he continues to take to training like we’re giving it to him, I’d like to hope for bigger and better.”
NYRA Press Office
Top photo: Gamestonks & jockey Jevian Toledo won the 1st race at Parx Racing Jan. 5, 2022, going 1 mile for trainer Brittany Russell & owner Daniel Heim. (PTHA video screen shot)