The final prep for Preakness Stakes is set to be run at Churchill Downs this weekend, but more importantly it’s closing weekend at Laurel. Let’s recap last weekend’s results before turning our attention to this week.
Tapriella showed improvement in her second start in last Saturday’s fourth race, a 6-furlong maiden. She made a wide move around the turn going from last to third. After making that extended run, she tired some in the stretch and finished fourth.
“It was just her second start, she’s still learning,” Tim said. “We just hope she keeps moving forward and maybe we’ll make the race a little easier for her next time.”
In the eighth race, Perfect Deal showed brief speed to get herself into early contention but became fatigued when turned for home and faded through the stretch.
Le Weekend showed great determination to finish third in Sunday’s tenth, a 6-furlong allowance.
“I thought she ran super. She tries every time she runs,” Tim said. “Angel Cruz did a marvelous job filling in for Sheldon Russell.”
The gritty filly showed her customary speed and dueled with the 4-5 favorite Happiness down the backside. After putting that rival away leaving the far turn, she took the lead but soon faced pressure to her outside. She never gave up, beaten only 2 1/2 lengths.
Laurel hosts a Thursday card this week and Tim is set to saddle Enchanted Evening in the tenth. She’s been off since a third-place finish in late November.
“She’s a year older, a little more mature. We gave her the winter off. She wintered with Travis and Wendy Kinnamon at Break Away Farm,” Tim said. “She’s in a good spot. Hopefully she’ll be able to muster up a good effort.”
Cyndara is set to run in Friday’s sixth. She put in a strong run through the stretch to break her maiden last time.
“It’s a good spot for her. Probably her level, non-winners of two for $10,000. She tries every time she runs,” Tim said.
The barn has two entered for Saturday. Irish Access tries turf for the first time in the seventh, a 1 1/16-mile allowance. The 3-year-old daughter of Blame made her seasonal debut three weeks ago, turning in a solid fourth.
“She needed that race obviously, and it was a tough race. The mile is a tough distance, especially that long stretch,” Tim said. “She will handle the grass. Feargal always thought that when he rode her. Sheldon gave me that thought, too. He’s been working her. We have no reason to think she couldn’t run on the grass, so we decided we’d give this a shot and see how she runs.”
Dendrobia runs for the first time as a 3-year-old in the ninth at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf.
"She’s definitely a grass filly. Last year she showed me she’s probably a sprinter,” Tim said. “She’s a bigger, stronger filly. I’m very happy with her and this spot. Because of her Maryland-bred status, she can take advantage of these races and she doesn’t have to run against straight maidens. She’s exactly why we have these races for Maryland-breds. Linda Sims in Ocala had her for the winter. I’m looking forward to running her.”