It was an action-packed weekend of stakes racing at Laurel Park that included many tight finishes. Here’s an update on our runners from last weekend and a look at what’s ahead.
Still Having Fun raced quite enthusiastically and on the bridle for the first 7 furlongs of the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio Stakes, but tired when turned for home and finished sixth.
“At his best, he’s probably a middle-distance horse around one-turn,” Tim said. “Once you’re against better quality horses - with any horse - their preferred distance comes into play.
“I was very happy with the trip. I thought Sheldon did a nice job getting him around there in good order, it got a little tight once or twice, but he relaxed and listened to his rider as he did with Feargal. He just came up short.”
The 3-year-old came out of the start in good order. A return to sprint distances will be up next for the talented colt and a start Preakness Day in the Chick Lang Stakes is a possibility.
Despite a bit of disappointment with Still Having Fun, the barn’s other two runners acquitted themselves very well.
Velocita Brillante came up just short after a sustained rally when she missed by only a neck in the day’s opener for Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds.
“I was a little worried around the turn. He was starting to ride her a little bit and going a mile you really don’t want to start riding around the turn,” Tim said. “She ran super, couldn’t have been more happy with her.
“Finishing second in that race was alright, come back and try to win it next time. I’ve always said that when you have a horse that goes as hard as they can, whether they’re first or even last, I think you never complain. It’s up to me to put them in the right spot.”
A few races later, Helen Polinger’s One Two Three Go showed some ability in her debut. The 3-year-old filly showed decent gate speed to establish early position and stayed on well to finish third.
“I was very happy with that. She did everything right and was an absolute star. She’s always been that way, very professional, easy to work around, and a quick learner. Helen hadn’t been out in a while to see anything run, so I was very pleased with her effort and the way she ran for us.”
Tapriella is the first runner for the barn this weekend as she is entered in Saturday’s fourth race, a 6-furlong maiden. The daughter of Tapizar is sure to show improvement for Karen Kerlin’s Halcyon Springs Stable following her debut last month. Also entered Saturday is Nancy Lee Farms’ Perfect Deal. Last seen in late February, the 4-year-old filly tries for back-to-back wins.
Le Weekend will represent the barn in Sunday’s tenth race. She returns in the same condition that she made her 2018 debut in three weeks ago when finishing a close fourth. Ken Holt’s and Palumbo Racing Stable’s homebred is sure to show speed against what looks to be a decent group for the level.
Tim made a quick trip to Ocala this week to attend the OBS April 2-year-olds in training sale. He acquired a daughter of More Than Ready out of the graded stakes-placed mare Bahama Bound for Richard Meyer and his M. O. M. stable on the first day of the sale.
How about a shout out to a new face around the TLK barn, author Kimberly Campbell. She wrote about her experience so far owning a 2-year-old at her website: Kimberly Campbell blog post.