Wondrwherecraigis wins on the Pimlico Race Course.
Patience and perseverance paid off for owners Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables and Michael Caruso, and trainer Brittany Russell when Wondrwherecraigis became a stakes winner for the first time on Friday at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY
Based on the historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., The 4-year-old gelding who triumphs over 2 on the front line under jockey Luis Saez has the connections thinking about taking the next step in his own backyard in the Make the prestigious $ 200,000 Class 3 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Saturday September 18 at Laurel Park.
Named for the late president and chairman of Laurel and Pimlico, the illustrious list of winners for De Francis Hall of Famer Housebuster includes sprint champions Cherokee Run, Smoke Glacken, Thors Echo and Benny the Bull, and Lite the Fuse, the only two-time winner ( 1995-96) honored with his own stakes race in Maryland.
The six De Francis Stadiums for ages 3 and over hit the headlines with four stakes valued at $ 500,000 in purses, marking the first ever stakes action on Laurel’s newly reconstructed mainline. Laurel’s Fall Meeting is slated to open on Thursday, September 9th.
“That is not out of the question. The timing seems good, but we just have to see how things fit together, ”said Russell. “We have to see who’s nominated and what it looks like, but I think he could be very useful here. If it means grade 3, great. If not, let’s look around.
“I like the idea. I like the distance, the timing, all of those things,” she added. “But we also want to be sensible. It would be exciting for me.”
Married to jockey Sheldon Russell and 10 weeks before the couple’s second child was born, Russell stayed in Maryland to watch the race on Friday, leaving the saddling to assistant coach Amanda Knox. Saturday morning’s report was encouraging.
“Amanda said it was fantastic, healthy, and eaten,” said Russell. “He was hopping around, as happy as possible.”
Since mid-April, Wondrwherecraigis has been part of Russell’s series in Pimlico, where he prepared for the Tale of the Cat on July 18th with an impressive 5 ¾ length win. Of his five career wins, two came in Pimlico and Laurel.
Wondrwherecraigis crossed from multiple graded stakes winner sprinter Munnings on May 14th in Pimlico, his first race in almost nine months since his fourth place at Grade 2 Amsterdam last August in Saratoga.
Wondrwherecraigis hadn’t raced when he was 2 after selling for $ 67,000 as a yearling and making his debut with consecutive wins at Laurel on March 13 and June 6, 2020. Two weeks later, he was inducted into the Keeneland Horse Association’s Horses of Racing Age sale, but failed to meet his $ 210,000 reserve.
Wondrwherecraigis was sent to New York and took third place at the Gold Fever at Belmont Park before taking on a graded competition in Amsterdam and finishing 7½ lengths behind Yaupon – who would come back for Grade 3 Chick Lang and last October Lite the Fuse to be won on July 4th at Pimlico – before it goes to the sidelines.
“The partners were patient. It’s a perfect example of when you know the horse has skills, you’re just doing the right thing, ”said Russell. “Hopefully this horse will work out as it seems.”
Wondrwherecraigis was nominated for the $ 100,000 Chesapeake on August 23 at Colonial Downs, also six stadiums for 3-year-olds and up, but how well he had done since the Pimlico race and the prospect of a smaller field brought him to Saratoga instead. It was Russell’s fourth career win in Saratoga and the first in a stakes.
“I originally wrote off this race. We actually added it. I didn’t even nominate him because I didn’t want to feel pressured, ”said Russell. “He was doing such a big number the last time he won in Pimlico. I really thought the Colonial race was timing well and this track seems good for speed horses. There seemed to be many positives for Colonial.
“But then it seemed like it wasn’t going to be a big field [at Saratoga]. At the time, I wasn’t sure of the quality, ”she added. “It worked. It doesn’t always work so well, but this time it worked.”
Wondrwherecraigis will return to Maryland next week and begin preparations for his next race. All races in Saratoga and Marylands graded races such as De Francis are run without Lasix.
“I’ll leave him up there for a couple of days and just let him relax. I didn’t want to put it right on a truck and ship it six hours after that run, ”said Russell. “We’ll take him home and see how he’s doing. I think the main thing is that we’ve learned he doesn’t need Lasix and that’s a big deal when it comes to running in the better races like this one. “
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This post was filed under Racing and shared with Amanda Knox, Amsterdam Stakes, Brittany Russell, frank j. de francis Memorial Dash, Gold Fever, Laurel Park, Luis Saez, Madaket Stables, Michael Caruso, Michael Dubb, Munnings, Pimlico Race Course, Sheldon Russell, Tale of the Cat, The Elkstone Group, Wondrwherecraigis, Yaupon by David Joseph / Maryland Racing. Bookmark the permalink.