Troy Johnson and Charles Lo's So Street powered to a 1 ½-length win in the $100,000 Howard County Stakes Saturday at Laurel Park, giving jockey Trevor McCarthy his fifth win of the day and fourth in a stakes, including a sweep of both races for juveniles.
The Howard County for 2-year-olds and the $100,000 Anne Arundel County for 2-year-old fillies, both 5 ½ furlong sprints over Laurel's world-class turf course, were among six stakes worth $600,000 in purses on Round 2 of the September to Remember Stakes Festival.
Highlighting the 12-race program were the $150,000 Fasig-Tipton All Along for fillies and mares 3 and up at 1 1/16 miles on the grass, won by Notapradaprice, and the $100,000 Japan Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up going 1 ½ miles, won by O Dionysus.
So Street ($3.80) opened up by more than four lengths in the stretch before being geared down by McCarthy, winning in 1:03.55 over a firm All Along turf course. Earlier in the day, McCarthy piloted Miss J McKay to a similarly easy triumph in the Anne Arundel County.
“I felt like we were pretty live all day. These two 2-year-olds I was really high on, and they kind of blew the rest of them away, numbers-wise. I said to my agent, 'I really believe I'm going to win both of these 2-year-old races today,'” McCarthy said. “Everything just worked out. It was a nice day.”
A debut winner at Pimlico Race Course May 9 whose only off-the-board finish came when he was sixth in a July 27 optional claimer at Laurel, both on the dirt, So Street now has two wins and a second in three tries since being switched to the turf. McCarthy has been aboard for all four races.
So Street tugged McCarthy to the lead from their far outside post position and zipped through a quarter-mile in 21.81 seconds tracked by Dreaming of Love and Guilty. Nursed along around the turn, So Street began to separate from his rivals once straightened for home and was wrapped up approaching the wire as Me and Mr. C came with a late run to be second. It was three-quarters of a length back to Muchmorethanthis in third.
McCarthy's other stakes wins Saturday came with Tiz He the One in the Challedon and Our Super Freak in the Shine Again. Our Super Freak and So Street are trained by Jamie Ness.
“He broke really sharp today. He was a bit keen for me but he's been training so good, really on the muscle, and once he got to the front he really relaxed well and turned off well for me. He finished up nicely today,” McCarthy said. “Jamie's done a great job with him and I'm just so lucky to ride him. He's a nice 2-year-old, so it's a huge privilege.”
From a delayed start to her powerful finishing kick, Maxis Stable, Madaket Stables and Wonder Stables' Miss J McKay put on a display of professionalism in just her third career start to romp by five lengths in Saturday's $100,000 Anne Arundel County Stakes at Laurel Park.
Trained by Cal Lynch and ridden by Trevor McCarthy, his second stakes win of the day following Tiz He the One in the $75,000 Challedon, Miss J McKay ($3.60) completed the distance in 1:02.49 over a firm All Along turf course.
A runaway winner of her July 5 unveiling on the dirt at Laurel, also under McCarthy, Miss J McKay finished first by three lengths with Jorge Vargas Jr. up in the Colleen Stakes Aug. 4 at Monmouth Park but was disqualified for interfering with the next two finishers down the stretch and was placed third.
Bet down to 4-5 favoritism in a field of nine, Miss J McKay was one of several rivals that stood in the gate as 70-1 long shot Princess Carrigan balked being loaded, causing a slight delay. Once sprung, she settled off a fast quarter-mile of 21.47 seconds set by More Or Less and forced by Lynch-trained stablemate Giggling, then moved up on her own to split horses on the turn and emphatically open up through the lane.
Queen of Shades was second, 1 ¼ lengths head of Bella Aurora, who edged Double Down Dare by a nose for third.
“She had to wait a long time there and I was a little nervous about that, but she's just a lovely filly. I was a little disappointed for her in the Colleen. Jorge maybe didn't know her as well as Trevor and it was just one of those things,” Lynch said. “He hit her right-handed and she ducked away from it a little bit – just green. She's only a baby. She's still learning. She's very talented. The raw talent is there and you can't teach that.
“She showed real professionalism today,” he added. “We were much happier with the whole thing, and she'll get better the more she races and gets a little experience under her. I think that's all the Colleen thing was. Just a little greenness more than anything.”
Lynch said Miss J McKay maybe be pointed to the $100,000 Maryland Million Lassie for 2-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs on the dirt Saturday, Oct. 19 at Laurel. The Maryland-bred daughter of Hangover Kid is named in honor of late Maryland Million founder Jim McKay.
“It seems like the appropriate spot. That's what she's named for and the owner is here from Texas today. I think that's where she's going, but we'll see how she comes out of it and everything. The horse will dictate what we do,” Lynch said. “She's worked so well on the dirt. We only worked her on the turf a few times, once before the Colleen, and we knew she really liked that. I'm not saying she's strictly turf. She's a very, very useful filly. I'm glad to have her in the barn.”
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