02/15/2016 5:55PM

Marengo Road honors late owner with win in Miracle Wood


Marengo Road finished second, beaten 7 1/4 lengths, to Never Gone South in the Jan. 16 Frank Whiteley Jr. Stakes, but he turned the tables on him in the $75,000 Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park on Monday. Marengo Road put Never Gone South away in midstretch, and then held off the late run of Charmed Victory by three-quarters of a length.

Marengo Road’s win comes four days after the death of Harry C. Meyerhoff, who owned him in partnership with his son Tom Meyerhoff. Meyerhoff died Thursday of a stroke at his Hawksworth Farm in Maryland at age 86.

Meyerhoff is best known as the owner of Spectacular Bid, the 1980 Horse of the Year and winner of the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, whom he bought as a yearling and owned with his son Tom and then-wife Theresa Meyerhoff. Spectacular Bid, who won 26 of 30 career starts, was trained by Buddy Delp.

Marengo Road is conditioned by Mike Trombetta.

“Racing really lost a hero,” Trombetta said. “He was a wonderful man.”

In the Whiteley, Marengo Road sat off Never Gone South, who was able to dictate the fractions. On Monday, with Julian Pimentel aboard, he pressured Never Gone South from the outset and got the better of him.

Marengo Road paid $14.80 as the third choice in the five-horse field of 3-year-olds. He covered the one-turn mile in 1:40.13 over a fast track in the snow.

Trombetta’s stable has been on a roll. From Jan. 29 through the Miracle Wood, Trombetta won with 14 of 41 starters.

“In the Whiteley, he was able to set an uncontested pace going seven furlongs and it played to his advantage,” Trombetta said of Never Gone South. “I was hoping someone else would go with him today, but we had to.”

Trombetta has now won the Miracle Wood four times. He also won with Extrasexyhippzster in 2014, Crafty Bear in 2007, and Sweetnorthernsaint in 2006.

A son of Quality Road, Marengo Road is now 3 for 8 with earnings of $117,560.

Charmed Victory, reserved early, rallied after Marengo Road in the stretch and was slowly getting to him at the wire. It was 1 1/2 lengths back from Charmed Victory to Never Gone South.

Street Heat finished fourth and Hard Hitter, who raced forwardly along the inside early, was fifth.

Wide Country: Great Soul shows class

Great Soul turned in a gritty effort in her first try against winners to take the $75,000 Wide Country Stakes at Laurel Park on Monday.

Great Soul came into the seven-furlong Wide Country off a 2 1/2-length maiden victory going a mile in the mud and was giving away a lot of experience to many of her rivals, including 4-5 favorite Karen’s Silk, who came into the race off three consecutive wins.

Great Soul stumbled out of the gate in the Wide Country but quickly recovered and moved up to a contending position along the inside. Jockey Trevor McCarthy sat patiently to the stretch, then took her between horses and to the inside. She was up to challenge Prognosis for the lead in midstretch, and then inched away to win by a half-length.

“I didn’t have anywhere to go all the way around there,” McCarthy said. “But when I asked her to go to the inside she got to running."

Social Butterfly set the early pace in the Wide Country while being dogged by Aye a Song. Prognosis moved up to challenge three wide on the far turn and then Karen’s Silk lodged her bid four wide nearing the stretch. Prognosis came away with the lead but was unable to keep pace with the winner late.

Claire’s Dowery, who was well back early, finished with a wide late run to finish third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Pronosis and two lengths ahead of fourth-place Karen’s Silk. Karen’s Silk fell after the finish. She appeared unhurt but was vanned off the track. Jockey Jevian Toledo came back to ride in the next race.

Great Soul is trained by Tim Keefe and is owned and was bred by Steven Long. She paid $11.80 to win as third choice in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies. She was timed in 1:27.73 over a fast track.

“Everyone who has put their hands on this filly has had good things to say,” Keefe said. “I think the seven furlongs is good for her and I liked that she was cutting back today.”