Speedyness boasts a wire-to-wire romp Nov. 17 at Laurel Park (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
LAUREL, Md.— Jagger Inc.’s Speedyness, unbeaten in two starts since a change of equipment and tactics, goes after a third straight win and first in stakes company in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Saturday, Dec. 2 at Laurel Park.
The 42nd running of the Maryland Juvenile co-headlines a nine-race program with the 37th edition of the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly, both for Maryland-bred/sired horses sprinting seven furlongs.
First race post time is 12:25 p.m.
Bred, owned, and trained by Jamie Ness, Speedyness has made five of his six starts at Laurel, three of them wins, including a 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight debut June 16. After going winless in his next three tries, capped by a distant finish in the six-furlong Maryland Million Nursery, Ness switched things up.
“We put the blinkers on and stretched him out and he’s turned into a different horse.” Ness said. “His last two races were strong. I think this looks like a good spot. I wish it was a little longer, but we’ll see. He’s coming in in good form and we expect a big effort.”
Ness has been thrilled with the turnaround from Speedyness, who went gate to wire to win a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance by 1 ½ lengths Oct. 29, just two weeks after Maryland Million. Most recently, he was a front-running 7 ¼-length winner in a similar spot going one mile Nov. 17.
“He’s got a lot of natural speed. I kind of just thought that he was a sprinter. He’s got that sprinter’s build,” Ness said. “But he’s got speed and he seems to be able to carry it over a distance of ground and that’s always dangerous.”
Speedyness also represents the new direction for Jagger, which won last year’s Maryland Million Lassie with another homebred, Chickieness. Ness leads Laurel’s calendar year-ending fall meet in wins and is battling with Brittany Russell for most wins at Laurel and historic Pimlico Race Course in 2023.
“He’s a homebred, so it’s always extra nice. We raised him. Me and my wife Mandy, we pulled him out of his mom,” Ness said. “Last year we had just kind of started with our breeding program and we won a Maryland Million race with Chickieness. That was a nice way to start off. Now we’ve got another one that looks like he’s competitive at the same kind of level. We’ve got a lot of horses, but those are extra special, those kind.”
Jaime Rodriguez, leading both the meet and Maryland for the year in wins, is named to ride from Post 6 in a field of 10. All horses will carry 122 pounds.
Three other horses come into the Juvenile with previous stakes experience, two from the Nursery – Catahoula Moon and King’s River. Bryan Minnich’s homebred King’s River was a 13-length maiden claiming winner before running eighth in his stakes debut, but has rebounded to run second and third behind Speedyness in his last two starts.
Super C Racing Inc.’s Catahoula Moon, a maiden winner at Timonium in September, came from far back to win the Nursery by 4 ½ lengths. Trainer Jerry Robb brought the Golden Lad colt back in the open James F. Lewis III Nov. 11, also sprinting six furlongs, but he found trouble and wound up fifth behind multiple stakes winner Copper Tax.
Andrew Farm, Mountmelick Farm, Ocean Reef Racing, White Mountain Stables and Stonecrest Farm’s Call Me Andy comes in from Kentucky to face restricted company for the first time. Trained by Brendan Walsh, the son of Midshipman ran third in the six-furlong Bashford Manor and seven-furlong Ellis Park Juvenile this summer and comes out of a sixth in an optional claiming allowance sprint Oct. 29 in the slop at Churchill Downs.
Hittheroadjak, unbeaten in two starts racing first off the claim for trainer Rudy Sanchez-Salomon, and stablemate Mister Agent, a maiden claiming winner Nov. 16 at Laurel; Cap Com, Circle P, All the Way and Jumpingjaggerflash are also entered.