: Owner, Euro Stables, (left) and trainer Claudio Gonzalez walk Private Terms Stake winner Lebda with jockey Alex Cintron up to the winner’s circle at Laurel Park.
Photo Credit: Jerry Dzierwinski/Maryland Jockey Club
Maryland leading trainer Gonzalez staying in-state with Sophomore stakes winners Lebda, Princess Cadey
LAUREL, MD – When it comes to finding a spot for his sophomore stakes winners, Maryland’s three-time leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez doesn’t have any current plans to look elsewhere.
Gonzalez has been pleased with the progression of Euro Stable’s colt Lebda and Magic Stable’s filly Princess Cadey since they respectively swept the Private Terms and Beyond the Wire for 3-year-olds March 14 at Laurel Park.
Racing in Maryland has been on pause since March 15, after the last of three successful spectator-free programs were held at Laurel following strict self-imposed health and social distancing protocols that have remained in place for daily training of 1,300 horses without incident in the subsequent 9 ½ weeks.
“Yes, it’s frustrating but all the help is good and the family is good, nobody’s sick,” Gonzalez said. “That’s a good thing.”
Lebda, by Raison d’Etat, won his second straight stakes in the Private Terms, while Dialed In daughter Princess Cadey earned her first stakes victory in the Beyond the Wire, their triumphs coming about 90 minutes apart.
Both Lebda and Princess Cadey have worked five times at Laurel since they last ran, the most recent coming May 16 when Lebda went five furlongs in 1:00.20, the fastest of 37 horses, and Princess Cadey turned in a half-mile move in 47.40, ranking sixth of 86 horses according to Equibase .
“They’re doing pretty good,” Gonzalez said. “They’re working almost every week now, because I want to be ready when they say ‘go.’”
Lebda is unbeaten in 2020, winning the about 1 1/16-mile Private Terms by 4 ¼ lengths and with something left after a hard-fought three-quarter-length score in the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 15.
As a 2-year-old, Lebda won two of six starts – a maiden race last May at Laurel and an optional claiming allowance over the summer at Delaware Park in his first try against winners – before finishing third in the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs. Subsequently ninth in the Nashua (G3), he returned to Maryland and ran third in the seven-furlong Heft Stakes Dec. 29.
“He’s bigger and stronger and more professional. He knows when he’s going to breeze. When he goes to the track, he goes there dancing. Every day when he gallops he’s quiet, but when he’s going to breeze he knows and he’s ready,” Gonzalez said. “He’s more mature.
“He’s here and I like to run my horses in Maryland. That’s why I have no plans for him right now; I’m waiting to run him here,” he added. “I don’t want to go to Churchill Downs or anything. I haven’t started to look outside yet.”
Princess Cadey has made 13 starts dating back to her debut last July at Laurel and ran second five times in eight races before breaking her maiden Dec. 22. She has won two of four this year, romping by seven lengths in the one-mile Beyond the Wire over Naughty Thoughts, who defeated her when second in the seven-furlong Wide Country Feb. 15, her stakes debut.
“She’s just like Lebda. She breezes good all the time and she’s come back good,” Gonzalez said. “She’s in the same position, also. She’s doing good but we’re waiting to see what we can do here. If not, then I’m going to look outside.
“She’s developed and put on weight,” he added. “During this time without the races, all the horses look good. They look better. We’re happy with that.”