03/18/2017 5:21PM

Twisted Tom surges past O Dionysus in Private Terms

James McCue
Jockey Feargal Lynch and Twisted Tom surge late to win the Private Terms.

Turning for home, the $100,000 Private Terms Stakes on Saturday at Laurel Park looked like a two-horse race between the battling leaders O Dionysus and Dharmaster. But Twisted Tom found his best stride after getting to the outside in upper stretch, then got up in the last stride to defeat 3-5 favorite O Dionysus by a nose.

Twisted Tom, a son of Creative Cause trained by Chad Brown, raced in a contending position along the inside early in the Private Terms, a 1 1/16-miles race for 3-year-olds. O Dionysus, who trailed in the seven-horse field early, mounted a strong four-wide bid on the far turn to join the leaders and Twisted Tom was unable to keep up and dropped back. He appeared beaten at the quarter pole.

Jockey Feargal Lynch took Twisted Tom to the outside leaving the three-sixteenths pole and he surged to victory late.

"He got a second wind when he switched leads and got to the outside where there was no kickback," Lynch said.

Dharmaster battled gamely in the stretch to be third, a half-length behind O Dionysus.

Twisted Tom paid $10.20 as the second choice. He was timed in 1:45.68. O Dionysus and Dharmaster were on near-equal terms after six furlongs in 1:14.08, meaning the final five-sixteenths went in 31.60 seconds, a reasonable time at Laurel on Saturday.

Twisted Tom is now 3 for 5. He had previously won a Belmont Park turf race in September and a first-level allowance over the inner track at Aqueduct.

Not For Love: Laki wins fourth straight

Laki won his fourth straight race and his stakes debut in the $75,000 Not For Love, a six-furlong stakes for Maryland-bred or -sired older runners.

With speed playing well at Laurel on Saturday, jockey Horacio Karamanos kept Laki close to pacesetting Nicaradalic Rocks, who blazed an opening quarter in 22.94 seconds. Laki took the lead nearing the stretch, then comfortably held off Sonny Inspired, who launched a four-wide move on the far turn, to score by 1 3/4 lengths. Nicaradalic Rocks finished third, a length farther back.

Laki lost his debut while racing for a $25,000 claiming tag, but came into the Not For Love off three wins - a $25,000 maiden-claimer in the slop, a $25,000 starter race over a good track, and a first-level allowance.

He paid $6.40 to win as the favorite and was timed in 1:09.56, a fast time at Laurel on Saturday. Stolen Love, the 5-2 second choice, was never a serious factor.

Laki is trained by Damon Dilodovico.

"Mentally, this horse is kind of coming together," Dilodovico said.

Dilodovco has been on a roll lately, winning with four of his last eight starts.

Conniver: Next Best Thing, Katie Davis wins first stakes

It took 55 starts, but 7-year-old Next Best Thing won her stakes debut in the $75,000 Conniver, a seven-furlong race for Maryland-bred or -sired fillies and mares. The victory was also the first in a stakes for jockey Katie Davis.

Davis rated Next Best Thing early in the Conniver. Next Best Thing moved up outside front-running One Proud Gal on the far turn, opened a sizable lead, and then held off late-running If I Was a Boy to win by one length.

Next Best Thing paid $8.60 in the five-horse field. She was timed in 1:24.40.

Next Best Thing, trained by Claudio Gonzalez, now has 13 wins. Gonzalez claimed her for $5,000 in December 2015. She is 3 for 5 this year.

Bawlmer Hon, the 3-5 favorite, raced outside the winner early but lacked a response when asked. She finished third, 3 1/2 lengths behind If I Was a Boy.