Wicked Prankster Makes Season Debut Friday

April 6, 2023

Wicked Prankster. (Jim McCue/MJC)

3YO Gelding Goodafternoonoscar Holds On for Thursday Graduation, Jockey Rodriguez scores back-to-back wins

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – Wicked Prankster, front-running winner of the Maryland Million Turf last fall in his most recent start, will tune up for the upcoming grass season when he makes his 5-year-old debut Friday at Laurel Park.

The Maryland-bred Mosler gelding drew Post 3 in a field of eight for Race 6, a second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up sprinting seven furlongs. Regular rider Richard Monterrey has the call.

Owner-trainer Sam Davis is following a similar blueprint as last year, when he brought Wicked Prankster back off a four-month layoff to run second in a 5 ½-furlong dirt sprint in mid-March. Friday’s race will be his first in 168 days.

Wicked Prankster returned to the work tab March 15 with a bullet half-mile in 47.60 seconds over Laurel’s main track. He has breezed twice since including a five-furlong move from the gate in 1:02.20 April 1, the fastest of 14 horses.

“He’s training very good. You can look at his work tab and he’s been having like the best workouts in the morning and it’s all real,” Davis said. “So, I’m very excited about him coming back. He’s doing really good [and] training well so, hopefully, everything goes good and we can win another stake with him.”

The first turf races of the 2023 season are in the condition book for April 13. Davis said he will take a look at the $100,000 Henry S. Clark for 3-year-olds and up going a mile April 22, the first of three scheduled grass stakes at Laurel.

“I’ve got him in tomorrow [and] hopefully we get a big race out of him,” David said. “After that we’re going to nominate him to the Henry Clark and see what happens. If it comes up too tough, we’ll skip to the two-other-than on the 28th.”

Davis claimed Wicked Prankster for $25,000 out of his September 2020 debut at Laurel, where he ran second sprinting six furlongs on the dirt. Wicked Prankster finished worse than third once in seven 2022 starts, ending the year with back-to-back wins six days apart capped by the 1 1/8-mile Maryland Million Turf.

It was the first stakes win for horse and trainer, and the group that gathered for the winner’s circle photo afterward was so large that it had to be taken on the main track.

“That was very exciting because we were always kind of looking forward to that race. We didn’t get to run him in it the first time we wanted to, so the second time we got to run him in it he won,” Davis said. “It was like a dream come true, like something come full circle. Hopefully we can build on that because he’s older now. He’s 5 years old, he’s a racehorse now and he’s doing really well. We’ve got big hopes for him this year.”

Wicked Prankster is rated at 30-1 on the morning line. The 5-2 program favorite is O’Trouble, based in New York with owner-trainer David Jacobson. The 6-year-old gelding had a three-race win streak snapped when second in an Aqueduct allowance March 25. Classier, winner of the 2021 Los Alamitos Derby (G3) for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, will be racing first off a $40,000 claim for owner-trainer Kieron Magee out of a 2 ¾-length win March 19 at Laurel.

Notes

Jockey Jaime Rodriguez rode back-to-back winners Thursday with Goodafternoonoscar ($10.40) in Race 3 and Carroll Girl ($4.20) in Race 4 …

Michael Scheffres’ Maryland-bred gelding Goodafternoonoscar held off Sheriff Ronnie to take the seven-furlong maiden special weight for 3-year-olds in 1:24.97 over a fast main track, his fifth career start …

Post time for Friday’s eight-race program is 12:25 p.m.

@jonathanstettin Your article re reading when a horse dead on board made me some $ just now. Untapable was, IMO, odds-on, but dead. TY!

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