LAUREL, Md. – Eleven-time stakes-winning mare Anna’s Bandit, unraced since last summer, continues to train forwardly at Laurel Park as she readies for a sixth racing season at the age of seven.
Bred in West Virginia by trainer Jerry Robb and owned by he and wife Gina’s No Guts No Glory Farm, Anna’s Bandit ran third in the Dashing Beauty Stakes last July at Delaware Park in her most recent start.
“She’s doing great,” Robb said. “She’s been back in training for about five weeks now, probably getting ready to start breezing soon. She’s looking really good. The break looked like it did her some good.”
By Great Notion out of the No Armistice mare Onearmedbandit, Anna’s Bandit owns 17 wins and $782,655 in purse earnings from 36 career starts. Nine of her wins came from 11 races in 2019, tying her for most victories of any horse in North America that year.
Anna’s Bandit raced only four times in 2020, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic that paused racing in Maryland for 2 ½ months from mid-March to late May. She finished second in the Geisha and third in the Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3) last winter at Laurel, and returned from the break to a second straight win in the Original Gold at Charles Town.
Minor foot issues following the Dashing Beauty interrupted her training, and Robb opted to give Anna’s Bandit the rest of the year off to point for 2021.
“She had a little problem with her foot and I couldn’t train her, and missed all the big races,” Robb said. “So, I just decided to turn her out for a while. She had such a great year. She’ll be back.”
Anna’s Bandit earned her first career stakes win in the 2018 Conniver at Laurel at the midpoint of a four-race win streak. She put together a string of six straight wins in 2019 including Timonium Distaff, Maryland Million Distaff and Politely in Maryland, the latter to cap her 5-year-old campaign.
Robb’s current stable star is Lucky 7 Stable’s 3-year-old filly Street Lute, a Maryland-bred daughter of Street Magician with seven wins, six in stakes, from nine starts. She had a five-race win streak snapped when third in the March 13 Beyond the Wire at Laurel.
While both horses have displayed similar success on the track, and each share Xavier Perez as their regular rider, Robb said that’s where the comparison stops.
“Anna is like a cow until it’s time to run. [Street Lute] is hyper most of the time,” he said. “Once she gets wound up, she gets wound up. Anna, when you put the tack on her she knows it’s business. When you take it off, she’s a cow. Just 100 percent professional.”
Frosted Filly Paradise Song Hits Right Note in Laurel’s Friday Feature
Sonata Stable’s Paradise Song, a 3-year-old daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner Frosted, swept to the lead on the far outside approaching the stretch and powered through the lane for a 5 ¼-length victory in Friday’s featured eighth race at Laurel Park.
Ridden by Julian Pimentel for trainer Mike Trombetta, Paradise Song ($6.20) ran six furlongs in 1:10.71 over a fast main track to earn her second career win in the entry-level optional claiming allowance for sophomore fillies.
Pimentel, also aboard for Paradise Song’s maiden special weight triumph Jan. 15 at Laurel in her season debut, kept his filly in the clear three wide as Pretty Lori and Insightful battled through an opening quarter-mile in 22.99 seconds. Paradise Song moved up to second after Pretty Lori went a half in 46.91, straightened for home full of run and was set down by Pimentel, opening up on her rivals.
“I had a great trip. The speed went on and I just sat off of those two horses. When it was time to go I just let her out and she drew off,” Pimentel said. “She can do whatever. She can be inside or outside, it doesn’t really matter to her. She’s a really, really nice filly.”
Pretty Lori stayed up to be second with Hipnotizada edging Malibu Beauty for fourth, followed by Breeze Off the Bay, 8-5 favorite Little Huntress and Insightful. Kewpie Doll was scratched.
Paradise Song, purchased as a 2-year-old in training last spring for $250,000, was seventh in her debut last November at Aqueduct before graduating in January. In her most recent start, she set the pace racing inside and wound up second by less than a length to Live and Let Live in a similar spot Feb. 12 at Laurel.
Pimentel has been aboard for each of Paradise Song’s three local races, and believes she is a stakes-quality filly. The next stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Laurel is the $100,000 Weber City Miss going around two turns at about 1 1/16 miles April 17, a ‘Win and In’ for the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 14 at Pimlico Race Course. On the same program is the $100,000 Primonetta for fillies and mares 3 and up sprinting six furlongs.
“She’s definitely that kind of filly. Very nice,” Pimentel said. “She just got beat the last time. We were a little disappointed, but we knew she was better than that.”
Notes: The 20-cent Rainbow 6 was solved by one lucky bettor Friday for a $22,943.70 payout when 4-5 favorite Thunderinthevalley ($3.60) edged 90-1 long shot Awesome Butterfly in the ninth-race finale. Thunderinthevalley was one of two wins for owner Michael Scheffres and trainer Carlos Mancilla, following first-time starter Butter Pecan ($15.20) in Race 5 … There will be a carryover of $753.83 in the $1 Super Hi-5 for the opener of Saturday’s nine-race program. First race post time is 12:40 p.m.
Laurel Press Release
Photo: Anna’s Bandit, (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)