Sat. Feature Draws Quartet of Stakes Winners

January 7, 2023

Threes Over Deuces (center) gets a gritty win in the Frank Y. Whiteley Stakes June 16, 2022, at Laurel Park. (Jerry Dzierwinski/MJC)

> Multiple G3 Placed Threes Over Deuces 8-5 Program Favorite
> Trainer Magee, Apprentice Barbosa Register Friday Hat Tricks

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – Pocket 3’s Racing’s multiple Grade 3-placed Threes Over Deuces, scratched as the defending champion from the $100,000 Dave’s Friend Dec. 30, and fellow stakes winners Gagetown, Exculpatory and Indian Lake look to get the 2023 season off to a winning start in Saturday’s fourth-race feature at Laurel Park.

Six older sprinters were entered in the six-furlong optional claiming allowance led by 8-5 program favorite Threes Over Deuces. The 8-year-old Flat Out gelding ran second in back-to-back starts to cap 2022, beaten a nose by Karan’s Notion in a similar spot going 5 ½ furlongs Dec. 10 at Laurel.

Threes Over Deuces won the 2021 Dave’s Friend at Laurel and was elevated to the win over first-place finisher Whereshetoldmetogo in the 2020 New Castle at Delaware Park. He placed in 10 other stakes, including seconds in the 2022 Maryland Sprint (G3) and 2020 General George (G3), the latter behind Grade 1 winner Firenze Fire.

Built Wright Stables’ Gagetown is racing first off the claim for owner-trainer Norman ‘Lynn’ Cash, who took the horse for $40,000 out of a Dec. 3 win at Turfway Park. Gagetown won the Prairie Mile in 2021 and has placed in four other stakes including the Iowa Derby and St. Louis Derby in 2021.

Grace Merryman’s Exculpatory went 0-for-5 in 2022 after winning four of seven starts in 2021 including the Robert Hilton Memorial at Charles Town and Housebuster overnight handicap at Colonial Downs. Last out the 5-year-old was fourth by a half-length Dec. 10 at Laurel, a neck and a head behind Threes Over Deuces.

Indian Lake taking the Bald Eagle Derby. (Jim McCue/MJC)

Larry Rabold’s Indian Lake won the 1 ½-mile Bald Eagle Derby on the Laurel turf in 2021 and was second in the 2021 Jersey Derby and 2022 Sussex and New Castle for previous trainer Jamie Ness. Claimed for $40,000 Nov. 6, the 5-year-old Daredevil gelding was fifth in the Dec. 10 race, 1 ¼ lengths behind Exculpatory.

Saturday’s co-feature comes in Race 8, a six-furlong optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 4 and up. HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing’s 2021 Cheryl White Memorial winner Prodigy Doll, second in the Primonetta last April at Laurel, is favored on the morning line at 9-5 from the rail.

Breaking from outermost Post 6 is Mens Grille Racing’s Response Time, a front-running 7 ¾ length optional claiming allowance winner sprinting seven furlongs Dec. 4 at Laurel for trainer Hamilton Smith. The 5-year-old Mosler mare has four wins, three seconds and a third from 13 lifetime starts at Laurel.

Post time for the first of nine races Saturday is 12:25 p.m.

Gerry’s Gem. (Jim McCue/MJC)

Notes: Jockey Jaime Rodriguez and trainer Kieron Magee teamed up for a pair of wins Friday with Albertano ($11.60) in Race 2 and Dulce Kiara ($4.80) in Race 5 … Magee added a third winner with Honor the Fleet ($6) in Race 7 … 

John Rebstock’s 4-year-old gelding Gerry’s Gem cruised to his fourth straight victory in Friday’s feature, an open allowance for 4-year-olds and up. The winning time was 1:03.71 for 5 ½ furlongs over a fast main track …Gerry’s Gem was the second win for trainer Damon Dilodovico, following Stormy Stable’s 3-year-old gelding General Nooz, who led from gate to wire and held on to win the six-furlong maiden special weight for sophomores by a neck in 1:12.09 over a main track rated good … Apprentice Jeiron Barbosa also notched a hat trick Friday with Shaft’s Bullet ($15.40) in Race 6, Gerry’s Gem ($5.20) in Race 8 and Miss Fussy Pants ($7) in Race 9 …

Jockey Horacio Karamanos doubled on Runyonesque ($17) in Race 1 General Nooz ($7.40) in Race 3 

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