03/18/2017 7:42PM

Jenda's Agenda now 3 for 3 after Caesar's Wish victory

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James McCue
Matt King Coal survived an inquiry after winning the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial.

Jockey Gabriel Saez made a crafty move to take the lead inside front-running Forever Liesl nearing the half-mile pole of the one-mile Caesar's Wish Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday. Although tested by Forever Liesl and Tickled Pink in upper stretch, Jenda's Agenda edged away to score by two lengths.

Jenda's Agenda is now 3 for 3 in her career after having won a maiden race and an optional-claiming race at Fair Grounds. Trainer Larry Jones is in the process of relocating his stable from New Orleans to Delaware Park and was only able to shed-row Jenda's Agenda this week because of the deep freeze in the Northeast.

"I wasn't able to bring her up to the race [the way] I would have liked," Jones said. "She came out of New Orleans and we've been blocked in the barn all week at Delaware because of the weather."

Jenda's Agenda was bred by Jones and his wife, Cindy, and is owned by the Joneses and Rick Porter. Jenda's Agenda is the first foal to race out of the mare Just Jenda, a seven-time stakes winner of $750,000 that the Joneses bred and raced.

"She's very manageable," Jones said of Jenda's Agenda, "and she's got the heart of her mother."

The sire of Jenda's Agenda is the late Proud Citizen, with whose progeny Jones has enjoyed great success. Jones has won the Kentucky Oaks with Proud Spell and Believe You Can, who are by Proud Citizen. Jones also trained Peter Pan winner Mark Valeski, who was sired by Proud Citizen.

Jenda's Agenda paid $2.80 in the scratch-reduced four-horse field. She completed a mile in 1:38.01 after fractions of 24.70, 48.64, 1:13.11 and 1:25.40.

Jones said his goal is to take Jenda's Agenda to the Grade 2, $250,000  Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on May 19. She could race next in the $125,000 Weber City Miss at Laurel on April 22.

Forever Liesl finished second, four ahead of Tickled Pink in third. Tickled Pink broke slowly and then made a nice move to contention on the far turn.

Star Super finished fourth. She raced just inside the winner early, but dropped back a bit when Jenda's Agenda made her move to the lead.

Harrison Johnson: Matt King Coal withstands inquiry

Matt King Coal won a heated stretch battle by a head over Afleet Willy to take the Harrison Johnson Memorial, then had to withstand a stewards' inquiry and a jockey's objection before being declared the winner.

Matt King Coal wrested the early lead from Afleet Willy in the 1 1/18-mile Johnson, and then dug in gamely when challenged from the outside on the far turn.

Afleet Willy and Matt King Coal came together in upper stretch, leaning on each other with jockey Horacio Karamanos along the inside on Matt King Coal waving his whip in his left hand. The battling pair bumped again near the furlong pole, then raced in close quarters through the latter part of the stretch run.

The stewards lit the inquiry sign soon after the finish and Victor Carrasco, the rider of Afleet Willy, lodged an objection against Matt King Coal and Karamanos. The stewards elected to let the results stand.

Matt King Coal, trained by Linda Rice, paid $3.60 to win after covering the distance in 1:51.07. The win was the second in a stakes on the card for Karamanos, who earlier won the Not For Love stakes on Laki.

"My horse shot out of the gate so I let him go," Karamanos said of Matt King Coal. "We were leaning on each other in the stretch but I do not think it was my horse's fault."

Kaitain finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Afleet Willy.