Updated on 09/27/2014 6:05PM

Dreamsgonewild foils Ben's Cat in Laurel Dash

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Medea, with Forest Boyce aboard, wins her second stakes of the season in the Lady Baltimore.

An unlikely candidate foiled Ben’s Cat in his bid to win the Laurel Dash for a third time on Saturday.

Dreamsgonewild, a New York-bred who needed eight tries to leave the maiden ranks and had never before run in a stakes, ran down pacesetter  Bold Thunder in deep stretch to give jockey Trevor McCarthy his third win of the card in the last of six turf stakes at Laurel Park.

Ben’s Cat, who surpassed $2 million in earnings this summer, was in position to launch his usual late rally when third in midstretch, but hung and had to settle for third as the 3-5 favorite.

“He just didn’t have it today,” owner-trainer King Leatherbury said of the 8-year-old Ben's Cat.  “I don’t know why. He went into the race fine. I wasn’t worried about the field. He shouldn’t have had any trouble if he had been himself. He got a perfect trip. No excuses."

Dreamsgonewild ($16), who launched his 2014 campaign in July looking to clear his second allowance condition, has now won three straight turf sprints. He raced up front in wins going shorter distances at Monmouth Park and Saratoga, but changed tactics to get the job done Saturday.

“I left that up to the rider,” trainer Bruce Alexander said of McCarthy’s decision to not force Dreamsgonewild to fight for the early lead. “Trevor rode him perfect.”

Alexander said he has been pleasantly surprised by how well Dreamsgonewild has blossomed at age 5.

“He’s made a believer of me,” Alexander said. “I don’t know where the ceiling is. He keeps raising it every time.”

Bold Thunder, fourth behind Ben’s Cat in the Parx Dash two starts ago, looked like a winner in midstretch until he and Kendrick Carmouche were run down by Dreamsgonewild and were relegated to second best. The winning time for six furlongs on firm turf was 1:07.99

Medea regains form in Lady Baltimore

Medea failed to fire in two starts following a win in the Grade 3 Eatontown at Monmouth Park in June, but she regained her form in the $100,000 Lady Baltimore for fillies and mares.

Reunited with Forest Boyce, who rode the 5-year-old to her first stakes victory in the Eatontown, Medea ($11.20) came from off the pace and kicked home strongly to score by a half-length, completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.47.

Early pacesetter Party Starter, who led by as much as 2 1/2 lengths, held on for second at 70-1. New York-based –based Scampering was third at 7-1.

It was the second turf win on consecutive days at Laurel for trainer Tres Abbott, who won an allowance on Friday with Nellie Cashman.

“She is a filly that needs fast ground,” Abbott said.  “She has very bad feet. Hard ground stings them. I thought there was a little bit of cushion here today. Forest gave her a great ride. She got herself mid-pack where they were very bunched up. She saved ground and because the straight here is very long she had the opportunity to get her outside for clean run.”

Manchurian High narrowly prevails in Laurel Turf Cup

Manchurian High clearly loves long-distance turf races.

Beaten only a neck three starts ago in the 1 5/8-mile John's Call at Saratoga, Manchurian High ($14.20) came from off the pace under Sheldon Russell to outfight Argentine import Calvados by a neck in the $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup at 1 1/2 miles. The winning time was 2:7.91.

It was the first win for the 6-year-old Manchurian High, trained by Lilli Kurtencz, since he took a third-level allowance at 20-1 in May at Pimlico.

Calvados, second by a nose in a Group 3 race in Argentina in April, just missed despite an eventful trip in which he was rank and raced four-wide on the clubhouse turn and then checked and lost momentum turning into the stretch. He re-fallied under Javier Santiago and was narrowly beaten at the wire. St. Albans Boy was third at 7-2.

“He is a cool horse to ride,” said Russell. “He rarely shows any early speed. At the start, he was running straight to the turn and my job was to keep him out of trouble and heap the momentum going. I knew the distance wouldn’t be a problem. I kept him four- to five-wide the whole trip. I just wanted a clean trip and it worked out perfectly today.”

Manchurian High finished third in the 2012 Laurel Turf Cup at odds of 97-1, beaten by a neck in a three-way photo for the win, when in the barn of J.B. Secor. Kurtinecz worked for Secor and purchased Manchurian High from her former boss 10 months ago.

Madame Giry defends titls in Jameela

Madame Giry worked her way out of a bottleneck and withstood a late surge from Monster Sleeping to win the $125,000 Jameela for Maryland-bred fillies and mares for the second time.

The 5-year-old Madame Giry ($3.40), trained by Cam Gambolati, appeared she would have nowhere to launch her bid when she was trapped behind horses in the stretch, but jockey Eddie Castro found and opening and she spurted to the lead, only to have to be put into an all-out drive to hold off Monster Sleeping by a neck. The winning time for six furlongs was 1:08.54.

“Cam told me to rate her off the pace then make my move,” Castro said. “Every race is different with her but she runs well everywhere. We had a little traffic trouble today, nothing too bad though and she finished up very good.”

It was the ninth win in 25 starts for Madame Giry.

Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Still love the Cat!