Jersey-Bred No Cents Invades Laurel For James F. Lewis III Win; Street Lute Takes Smart Halo

Isabelle de Tomaso and Hope Jones’ homebred No Cents, making his local and stakes debut off back-to-back wins out of town, corralled favored Dalton in mid-stretch and edged past for a comfortable 1 1/4-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 James F. Lewis III at Laurel Park in Laurel, Md.

The ninth running of the Lewis was the second of two six-furlong juvenile sprint stakes on the Salute to Veterans Day program, preceded by the 24th renewal of the $100,000 Smart Halo for fillies, won by Street Lute.

No Cents ($10.80) completed the distance in 1:09.16 over a fast main track to give jockey Trevor McCarthy his third straight Lewis win and fourth overall. He also finished first with eventual graded-stakes winner El Areeb in 2016, Scrap Copper in 2018 and Newstome in 2019. Winning trainer Cal Lynch also trained El Areeb.

“I definitely wanted to leave a little something in the tank and not overdo it with him. He’s a 2-year-old so hopefully we’ll have a bright future with him,” McCarthy said of No Cents. “Cal seems to always have these colts ready, so big credit to him. It’s just a huge privilege to me. They made me look good today.”

Dalton, beaten a neck when second to subsequent Nashua (G3) winner Pickin’ Time last out, showed good early foot and established the lead before Lugamo, riding a two-race win streak, worked over from his outside post to be in front after a quarter-mile in 22.05 seconds. McCarthy settled No Cents in fifth and was still looking at a wall of horses when the field rounded the far turn.

Lugamo maintained a slim margin after a half in 45.02 but was quickly overtaken by Dalton at the top of the stretch. At that point, McCarthy tipped No Cents to the middle of the track and set his sights on Dalton, steadily gaining ground before wresting the lead away inside the eighth pole.

It was 2 1/4 lengths back to Lugamo in third and another three to Texas Basin, followed by Heir Port, Kenny Had a Notion, Singlino and Fearless Fly. Kenny Had a Notion had won his two previous races, both in Laurel stakes, one each on the turf and dirt.

“We had a great trip. We had a good break and I was happy to get a good position and be able to follow [Dalton]. That was kind of my target to run with, so it was nice,” McCarthy said. “We were able to save ground and get a nice little breather and when we came past the five-sixteenths pole, I was just being patient with him. I knew I had a ton of horse underneath me and I was just kind of seeing where [Dalton] went.

“As soon as I tipped outside of him I just gave him a nice target to run at,” he added. “When I wanted him to finish up strong, he did, and when I wanted him to take a little bit of a break at the wire when I knew I kind of had it, he settled down. He’s very push-button. He does everything you want him to do.”

A bay son of Goldencents out of the Petitionville mare Faker, No Cents made each of his first three starts in New Jersey, where he was bred. Second by a length in debut Aug. 29, he won a maiden special weight against state-breds Sept. 27 before a game neck open allowance triumph Oct. 21.

The $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Futurity for state-bred/sired horses Dec. 5 and $100,000 Heft Dec. 26 are the final two stakes for 2-year-olds at Laurel in 2020.

Street Lute Delivers in $100,000 Smart Halo Victory
Lucky 7 Stables’ Street Lute, beaten at the wire in the Maryland Million Lassie in her previous start, slipped through a seam on the inside around the turn and quickly separated from the field to rebound with a 2 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Smart Halo.

It was the second career Smart Halo win for trainer Jerry Robb following Lake Sebago in 2014, and first for jockey Xavier Perez. The winning time was 1:09.85.

The Lassie Oct. 24 at Laurel, where she came up a neck short of Miss Nondescript, was the first career loss for Street Lute ($5) following a pair of wins, including a front-running five-length score in the Small Wonder Stakes Sept 26 at Delaware Park.

“It’s definitely a little bit of redemption. In the Maryland Million she had to chase the speed and hold off closers, and she didn’t see the horse coming or I think she might have won that race,” Robb said. “She thinks she won it, so we tell her she did.”

Street Lute rated in third in the early going Saturday as 30-1 longshot Donnybrook Girl broke running and zipped the opening quarter-mile in 21.69 seconds pressed by recent maiden winner Be Sneaky. Perez stayed patient and took advantage of a narrow opening midway around the turn to establish the lead, drawing clear once straightened for home. Out of Sorts trailed the field in the early going, ranged up on the far outside and closed steadily down the center of the track for second, with Be Sneaky another length back in third.

Prodigy Doll, Swirling Dancer, Docs Seven, Donnybrook Girl and Supreme Blessing completed the order of finish.

“The instructions were to try and get a good break and see. I thought [Prodigy Doll] might go and she didn’t. You definitely don’t know what they’re going to do so you have to leave it up to the jockeys,” Robb said. “He let [Donnybrook Girl] go and laid right off of her and somehow he got through. It worked out perfect.”

Robb said the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship for state-bred/sired fillies Dec. 5 at Laurel will be the next likely target for Street Lute.

“We’ll keep her in Maryland for now,” he said. “The Juvenile will probably be next.”

The post Jersey-Bred No Cents Invades Laurel For James F. Lewis III Win; Street Lute Takes Smart Halo appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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