11/30/2016 12:56PM

Laurel: Lynch's 2-year-olds enjoying tremendous season

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Trainer Cal Lynch plans to stretch El Areeb out to a mile and 70 yards in the Grade 3 Jerome on Aqueduct’s inner track Jan. 7.

Trainer Cal Lynch has had a terrific season with his 2-year-olds. He is 13 for 60 (22 percent), has a return on investment of $4.02, and has won with nine different juveniles in 2016.

Lynch, who is based at Laurel Park, won the Swynford Stakes at Woodbine last Sunday with Undulated. The weekend before, he sent out El Areeb for a five-length romp in the James F. Lewis III at Laurel. On Saturday, he plans to run Recoil in the $150,000 Display at Woodbine and has entered both Heat Dome and Windcries in the $100,000 Pennsylvania Nursery at Parx.

Undulated and El Areeb, who race for the MMG Stables of Mohammed Al Gadhi of Saudi Arabia, were both purchased at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March auction of 2-year-olds in training. Undulated, a son of Curlin, brought $625,000 after he worked a quarter-mile in 21 seconds. El Areeb, by Exchange Rate, was purchased for $340,000 after working a furlong in 10 seconds.

El Areeb, who is fast and races on dirt, is the flashier of the two. Lynch plans to stretch him out to a mile and 70 yards in the Grade 3 Jerome on Aqueduct’s inner track Jan. 7.

El Areeb blazed six furlongs in 1:09.96 in the Lewis, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 94. In his previous start, he won a Laurel maiden race by 8 3/4 lengths.

“His win in the James Lewis made the hair on the back of my neck stand up,” Lynch said. “He was scary good in that race.”

El Areeb appears to be finding himself after losing his first two starts.

“He had trouble in his first race at Parx, and then his shins flared up,” Lynch said. “We pin-fired him and took our time with him.”

Although Undulated has won two sprints, one on turf and the other on Tapeta, his future may lie in longer grass races.

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In his debut, he overcame all sorts of traffic problems in the stretch to get up and win by a half-length.

“He zigzagged through the field like a snake,” Lynch said. “I was a little nervous before that race. You spend money like that on a horse, you want to get results for your owner. I was relieved afterward.”

Undulated was beaten a nose in the 5 1/2-furlong Laurel Futurity prior to his Swynford victory. The Swynford was Plan B, according to Lynch, who scratched him from the Awad, a one-mile turf stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.

“We wanted to stretch him out and go long,” Lynch said. “We were there. He was treated with the Lasix, and then he went and kicked the wall of his stall. Our rule is horses first, and I just couldn’t run him. I had to call the owner, not the easiest call to make, but Mohammed was great, couldn’t have been any nicer about it.”

Lynch’s stable is a true family affair. His wife, Daniela, and sons Charlie and Anthony play important roles in the operation.

Charlie, 18, just took out his trainer’s license. Anthony, 15, is the stable foreman. Both are home-schooled so they can attend to their studies after training hours.

“Charlie gallops just about all of them, and Anthony is on the pony,” Lynch said. “We all love horses in my family. I want to put my hands on all of my horses every day.”

Laurel: Lynch, Toledo have big weeks

Jockeys Feargal Lynch and Jevian Toledo had big holiday weeks at Laurel. The pair won 20 of the 48 races run during the five cards, including seven of the 10 races held last Saturday.

Lynch, whose brother is trainer Cal Lynch, went 11 for 35, winning four races each on the Thanksgiving and Saturday cards. He had an excellent ROI for the week of $4.16.

Toledo won with 9 of his 41 rides. He scored triples on Saturday and Monday and had an ROI for the week of $1.96.

Laurel: Carrasco nears return

Jockey Victor Carrasco may resume riding as soon as Friday at Laurel Park after being injured in the starting gate Nov. 25, according to his agent, Tom Stift.

Carrasco banged his knee while in the gate aboard Rarified Air prior to race 7 at Laurel. He took off his remaining mounts that day and did not ride on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.

X-rays of Carrasco’s knee were negative, Stift said.