Maryland-breds perform well and aim higher

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

August 22nd, 2017

Last weekend when Laurel Park hosted its second annual "Maryland Pride Day" as an early tuneup for the pending Maryland Million Day card on October 21, at least one sophomore filly served notice that she is going to be a major player on the biggest day of the year at Laurel and the third  biggest in the state behind Preakness Day and Black-Eyed Susan Day.

Toward the middle portion of the card, Crabcakes (Forest Boyce) benefited from patient handling down the backside, loomed alongside the leader on the far turn and surged past that one in the lane to a two-length score over Hailey's Flip in 1:08.77, a sparkling clocking for the six furlongs that had onlookers pondering its legitimacy. A three-year-old filly trained by Bernie Houghton for owner-breeder Buckingham Farm (the late Binnie Houghton), Crabcakes ended a four-race skid by notching her fourth win in eight starts overall.

One night earlier it was Devious Man (Andy Miller) who settled for third in the latest edition of the $320,000 Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs in New York as Yes Mickey (Ake Svandstedt) posted a 34-1 shocker as 1-2 favorite Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) settled for the runner-up spot. While Ariana G has likely already secured divisional honors among three-year-old filly trotters - this marked the third time she has taken on the boys this season - Devious Man will look to join the discussion for champion three-year-old trotting colt when he headlines the Yonkers Trot elims on Saturday night as the Winbak Farm product also hopes to topple Lady Shadow as the Maryland-bred harness horse of the year.

Then on Monday night at Ocean Downs, Toms Tyrannosaurus (Art Stafford, Jr.) prepped for next week's $70,000 Maryland Sire Stakes final for two-year-old colt pacers by capturing his MDSS elim in 1:54.4 by three lengths as the 3-10 choice. A juvenile son of Cam's Rocket - a pacing stallion perhaps best known for producing talented trotters - Toms Tyrannosaurus is trained by Roger Hans for owner-breeder Thomas Cooke of Nuclear Breeze fame.

Then one race later on the Monday card at the seaside oval in Maryland, Judge Bob (Jonathan Roberts) rallied from well off the pace and third over to prevail as the 9-5 second choice in his MDSS elim for two-year-old colt trotters by getting the mile in 2:01. A freshman son of Great George Two trained by Megan Roberts for owner William "Bib" Roberts - father of the trainer and driver - Judge Bob overcame post seven and the excess cover and added ground to score by a neck in his final tuneup for next week's $70,000 MDSS final for this group.