Most Look at Stretch-Out in Miracle Wood

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4:37 pm EST

Laurel Park puts the focus on 3-year-olds Saturday in the Miracle Wood Stakes, one of four stakes on Saturday’s nine race program. The local horses will be going a mile for the first time.

Stakes winners Extrasexyhippzster (5-2), Joint Custody (3-1), Jessethemarine (7-2) and Germaniac (6-1) will face runners from the Todd Pletcher, John Servis and King Leatherbury barns in the one mile test.

Joint Custody has won four races from six starts for trainer Jerry Robb, including the Marylander Stakes and the Maryland Juvenile Championship. The speedy son of Outflanker bobbled at the start, then wrested command and led the rest of the way in the Juvenile Championship at odds of 3-10 under Wesley Ho, who retains the mount.

“Every time I have ridden this horse he has gotten better,” Ho said. “Last time there was a very contested pace and he handled it very well. But he is very versatile. We have been behind and made up lots of ground and we have been up-front in a very fast pace. We have already dealt with the 46 pace and a lot of the horses in here haven’t. Todd Pletcher is always tough, but if our horse continues to get better as he has, he’ll be tough to beat.”

Extrasexyhippzter chased Joint Custody in the Marylander, then shipped to Aqueduct in late December and posted a convincing win in the Don Rickles Stakes. The son of Stroll performs for trainer Mike Trombetta and is ridden by Julian Pimentel.

“We think the world of him,” Trombetta said. “He just has that presence and way about him in everything he does. Things come really easy for him. It is a good group of horses in here. I don’t think it has the quality of the Holy Bull but it is on par with just about any you’ll see in a $100,000 race.”

Jessethemarine also fell victim to Joint Custody after winning the James Lewis Stakes for trainer John Rigattieri. His dance card includes three runner-up finishes in juvenile stakes. Alex Cintron, the leading rider at the current winter meeting, rides the son of With Distinction for the first time.

Germaniac became a stakes winner in his most recent outing, a front-running score in the Frank Whiteley Stakes over Jessethemarine. The Tim Tullock trainee, who is three-for-five lifetime, will carry J.D. Acosta.

“You can make a case for every runner in the race,” Tullock said. “He hasn’t run a bad race except for the Marylander Stakes (finished fifth) in the mud. He ran dynamite last time out but you have to keep it in perspective. He got a nice outside draw and was the only speed in the race. He is by Henny Hughes, so I don’t know if he’ll go more than a mile, but he could be a very talented 3-year old sprinter. The game has changed. Every good 3-year-old doesn’t have to stretch out. There are plenty of good 3-year-old sprints all year long.”

Mr. Rover (8-1) finished behind Germaniac and Jessethemarine in the Whiteley for Leatherbury. The son of Roman Ruler has finished in the money in seven-of-eight lifetime starts. Victor Carrasco has the riding assignment.

Pletcher tried Master Lightning (8-1) in three graded stakes at Aqueduct last fall. A trip to Laurel and a new rider in Forest Boyce may be all that is needed to get the son of Pulpit over the hump.

Servis will ship Undertaker (10-1) down from Parx Racing. The Unbridled Song colt broke his maiden last month. Emilio Flores retains the mount.

Fleet Gold Digger (20-1) rounds out the Miracle Wood field. The Frannie Campitelli trainee has two victories and finished fifth in the Maryland Juvenile Championship. Sheldon Russell will be aboard for the third consecutive race.

“Trombetta’s horse ran lights out last time. Joint Custody and Jessethemarine have been really consistent,” added Tullock. “The advantage Pletcher and Servis have is that their horses have a lot of experience going the route of ground. Most of these horses are stretching out for the first time.”

Edited Maryland Jockey Club

Saturday, R6
Miracle Wood Stakes
Laurel Park
1 Mile
Post Time: 2:56 ET

Post   Horse  ML  Jockey Wt Trainer
1 Joint Custody (MD) 3-1 W. Ho 122 J. Robb
2 Extrasexyhippster (PA) 5-2 J. Pimentel 122 M. Trombetta
3 Mr. Rover (KY) 8-1 V. Carrasco 118 K. Leatherbury
4 Undertaker (KY) 10-1 E. Flores 118 J. Servis
5 Fleet Gold Digger (MD) 20-1 S. Russell 118 J. Campitelli
6 Master Lightning (PA) 8-1 F. Boyce 118 T. Pletcher
7 Jessethemarine (FL) 7-2 A. Cintron 122 J. Rigattieri
8 Germaniac (KY) 6-1 J. Acosta 122 T. Tullock Jr.

All will run with Lasix
Equipment Changes: 5 - Fleet Gold Digger - Blinkers On

Owners: 1 - Konrad M. Wayson ; 2 - Kirwan Equine Group, Inc. & Ed Hipps ; 3 - Double K Stables ; 4 - D. J. Stable LLC ; 5 - John Davison & Hitesh Patel ; 6 - Alan R. Cook & Larry Pratt ; 7 - Manfred Roos & John Rigattieri ; 8 - Germania Farms, Inc.

Breeders: 1 - Janet Wayson; 2 - Toni M. Kirwan & Edward Hipps; 3 - Liberation Farm & Brandywine Farm; 4 - Manganaro LLC; 5 - Glade Valley Farms, Inc.; 6 - Michael Joseph Cascio; 7 - Dream Builder Racing LLC; 8 - Hidden Springs Farm