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Six-Time Stakes Winner Street Lute to Try Turf in $100,000 Stormy Blues
Ward Enters Two Stakes Winners in Wink & Amanzi Yimpilo
Cannon’s Roar Looking to Make Some Noise in $75,000 Ben’s Cat
BALTIMORE – Lucky 7 Stables’ Street Lute, already a six-time stakes winner on the dirt, is set make her turf debut as part of a field of 13 entered in Sunday’s $100,000 Stormy Blues at historic Pimlico Race Course.
The 13th running of the Stormy Blues for 3-year-old fillies and the fourth renewal of the $75,000 Ben’s Cat for Maryland-bred/sired 3-year-olds and up, both sprinting five furlongs, are among four scheduled turf stakes on a 10-race program. They are joined by the $100,000 Prince George’s County at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds and up, and $100,000 Searching for females 3 and older at 1 ½ miles.
Rounding out Sunday’s stakes action is the $100,000 Shine Again for fillies and mares 3 and up sprinting six furlongs on the main track. Part of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, it features undefeated multiple stakes winner Chub Wagon facing off against Anna’s Bandit, Hello Beautiful and Dontletsweetfoolya, who have combined to win 29 races, 18 stakes and more than $1.37 million in purse earnings.
First race post time is 12:40 p.m.
Even as his young stable star has piled up wins on the dirt, trainer Jerry Robb has been waiting for a grass opportunity for Street Lute, a chestnut daughter of Street Magician out of the Midnight Lute mare Alottalute bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman and Dr. Brooke Bowman.
“She’s bred for grass top and bottom. Just off her breeding alone, I’d be shocked if she didn’t take to it. She’s got just a ton of natural ability,” Robb said. “I definitely want to try the grass if we have it, or I can go for the mud if we don’t.”
Street Lute won the 5 ½-furlong Small Wonder last fall at Delaware Park over a sloppy track while all her other races have come over fast surfaces including victories in the 2020 Smart Halo, Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship and Gin Talking and 2021 Xtra Heat and Wide Country during a five-race win streak, all at Laurel Park at six or seven furlongs.
Third when stretched out to a mile for the March 13 Beyond the Wire at Laurel, Street Lute exits her first off-the-board finish when sixth following a troubled trip in the six-furlong Miss Preakness (G3) May 14 at Pimlico on the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) undercard, her graded-stakes debut.
Street Lute has had one timed breeze since the Miss Preakness, going three furlongs in 36.20 seconds June 5 at Delaware Park, the fastest of 22 horses. Regular rider Xavier Perez – who earned his 1,000th career win Monday at Delaware on Robb-trained In the Loop – climbs back aboard from Post 10 in a field of 13 that includes main track only entrant Malibu Beauty.
“Her last race she broke horrible, got pinched back and had no shot. Plus, it was a tough spot,” Robb said. “I’m looking for her to bounce right back.”
Trainer Wesley Ward, in England for the upcoming Royal Ascot meet, entered a pair of stakes winners in Wink and Irish-bred Amanzi Yimpilo. Stonestreet Stables’ Wink, Group 3-placed in France last fall, was a front-running winner of the five-furlong Melody of Colors on the Gulfstream Park turf March 20. Last time out, the Midshipman filly ran last of nine after dueling for the lead in the May 8 Mamzelle.
Purchased as a yearling for $110,000 at Keeneland in September 2019, Wink debuted last June with a 1 ¼-length maiden special weight triumph at Belmont Park and was immediately stepped up to stakes company, winning the Colleen at Monmouth Park. Both victories came in gate to wire fashion.
From there, Wink and stablemate Campanelle traveled to France, where she ran second by a length in the Prix d’Arenberg (G3) at Longchamp Sept. 3. Two weeks earlier, Campanelle gave Ward his third career win in the Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville.
“She went over there to accompany Campanelle and she ran really, really good. It wasn’t really a plan to race there but to bring her there for the other filly. There was a race there and now she’s got graded-stakes placing. She led every jump but the last little bit, so she ran a real credible race there,” Ward said. “She’s well-traveled, so right after the race we brought her home and gave her some time.”
Victor Carrasco has the call on Wink, who drew outside Post 13.
Susan Moulton, Marc Detampel and CJ Thoroughbreds’ Amanzi Yimpilo ran seventh in the Mamzelle to open her 2021 campaign. By No Nay Never, a French Group 1 and American Grade 3 winner also trained by Ward, she won two of three starts at 2 including a head triumph in the 5 ½-furlong Speakeasy last fall at Santa Anita.
“She kind of lost it there on her comeback race day. She kind of got real hot and was worked up a little bit and just was sweating,” Ward said. “We’ve worked on that a little bit, brought her over a couple times to Churchill to breeze on the grass and she just got completely over that. I think she just had the nervous jitters coming back and I really look for her to run a big race.”
A $300,000 yearling purchase in September 2019, Amanzi Yimpilo breezed four furlongs in 48.80 seconds June 6, the fastest of eight horses, and will get the services of jockey Mychel Sanchez from Post 9.
“We paid dearly for her. She’s by a sire that I trained … so I’m responsible for her success and failure. I want to keep moving forward with her. I think she’s really going to turn out to be a nice filly. We gave her all time off this winter and she’s a good, fresh filly,” Ward said. “I just think that first race was a throwout based on how she was acting that day.”
Beautiful Grace, Catching the Wind, Door Buster and What a Trick all enter the Stormy Blues off wins. Multiple stakes-placed Honey Pants, fifth by three lengths in the one-mile Sweetest Chant (G3) Jan. 30 at Gulfstream, ships in from New York for trainer Christophe Clement, while Kentucky-based Ben Coleman brings in April 10 Cheryl S. White winner Prodigy Doll. Can’t Buy Love, Proper Attire and Whiskey and Rye – who finished behind Street Lute in the Gin Talking, Xtra Heat and Wide Country – complete the field.
Cannon’s Roar Looking to Make Some Noise in $75,000 Ben’s Cat
Taking Risks Stable’s Cannon’s Roar, last seen finishing second by a length in the Maryland Million Turf in late October, will launch his 7-year-old season against the likes of stakes-winning mare Introduced and defending champion Oldies But Goodies in the $75,000 Ben’s Cat.
Trained by Dale Capuano, a career winner of more than 3,500 races, Cannon’s Roar will be cutting back to a sprint for the first time since finishing second by less than a length in a 5 ½-furlong turf dash last June at Laurel Park in his 2020 debut.
“He’s sprinted well before off the layoff. He’s trained to go a little bit further but we’ll see how well he adapts,” Capuano said. “He’s been fine. He’s a turf horse so he gets the winter off. He’s fresh and ready to go.”
Claimed for $16,000 out of a third-place finish Aug. 16, 2018 at Laurel, Cannon’s Roar has raced 13 times for Capuano with four wins, five seconds and two thirds. The Ben’s Cat will be his fourth stakes attempt and first outside of Maryland Million competition.
“Since we’ve claimed him, he’s been really good. He was sprinting then. He had never run long before we got him and I thought he could go long and liked the grass, so it worked out well so far,” Capuano said. “He’ll run his race, that’s for sure. If he’s good enough, he’ll win. He’s ready to go.”
Jorge Ruiz gets the assignment from Post 6 in a field of 13 that includes main track only entrant Hemp.
Colts Neck Stables’ Introduced is the lone female in the Ben’s Cat but has raced against males before, running fifth in the 5 ½-furlong Virgil ‘Buddy’ Raines last fall over a Monmouth Park turf course rated good. It was there she was fourth in an off-the-turf edition of the Politely May 30, her most recent effort.
In her only other start this year, Introduced was fourth by less than three lengths in the six-furlong License Fee April 30 at Belmont Park. Both her stakes wins have come on dirt – the 2019 Miss Disco at Laurel Park and last summer’s off-the-turf Smart N Fancy at Saratoga.
“She didn’t show that much speed last time,” trainer Jorge Duarte Jr. said. “She didn’t really fire. I would just put a line through that. The race at Belmont was good first off the layoff on the turf, so we’ll see.”
Introduced owns six wins and $283,551 in purse earnings from 16 career starts, her last time against restricted company coming in the Miss Disco. Jevian Toledo is named to ride from Post 11 at 117 pounds, five fewer than each of her rivals.
“She’s been consistent. She’s done it the hard way. She’s been off the turf a couple times and she still has fired for the most part,” Duarte said. “She’s definitely earned a big spot in our barn. We like her, and hopefully she’ll have a good 2021.”
R. Larry Johnson’s homebred Oldies But Goodies won the 2019 edition of the Ben’s Cat, the last time it was run after being a casualty of the pandemic-shortened stakes schedule in 2020. The 6-year-old gelding last raced in late October at Laurel, running fourth in a third-level allowance, and is one of two Johnson-owned, Mike Trombetta-trained horses in the field along with Matta, most recently third in a Saratoga allowance last summer.
Jose Corrales-owned and trained Air Token returns to the grass for the first time since running second in the Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap last fall. He owns three wins and two seconds from seven subsequent starts including a victory in the seven-furlong Concern in November at Laurel.
Rounding out the field are So Street, winner of the 2019 Howard County at Laurel; Godlovesasinner, Joseph, Love You Much, Railmaster, Valued Notion and Xmasinthecity.