‘Magician’ Can Cast Winning Spell In Maryland Million Turf

Bell Gable Stable’s Somekindofmagician, two months after becoming a stakes winner in his previous trip to Maryland, returns looking to conjure up a similar result in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Million Turf at Laurel Park.

The Turf for 3-year-olds and up and Ladies for fillies and mares 3 and older, both contested at 1 1/8 miles on the grass, are among eight stakes and four starter stakes on the 36th Jim McKay Maryland Million program, ‘Maryland’s Day at the Races’ celebrating the progeny of stallions standing in the state.

Highlighted by the $150,000 Classic for 3-year-olds and up, first race post time is 11:30 a.m.

Trained by Gary Contessa for owners Nick and Delora Beaver, Somekindofmagician capped a three-race win streak with his 1 ¾-length upset of the 1 1/16-mile Find at odds of 9-1 over a yielding turf course Aug. 21 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

It was the sixth career win for the 7-year-old Street Magician gelding, half of those coming in six starts this year since Contessa came out of retirement to take over as private trainer for Delaware Park-based Bell Gable.

“I think, honestly, that he’s responding to Gary’s regimen. Not all horses do. We have horses that have not quite responded and maybe regressed a little bit, but he’s been the one horse that when you walk down the shedrow and Delora will have carrots in her hand, he’ll almost run through the webbing,” Nick Beaver said. “He just feels so good. We’ve had him for about four years now and I’ve never seen him look so good.”

The Find victory came during a career-best stretch for Somekindofmagician, who will be making his fifth straight appearance in the Turf having run second in 2017 and 2019 for previous trainers Jamie Ness and Mike Trombetta and sixth last year, again with Ness. His win streak ended when he ran third, beaten three lengths, in a 7 ½-furlong optional claiming turf sprint Sept. 30 at Delaware.

“That last race, he had nowhere to go. At Delaware, the stretch is a little bit shorter and he was stuck behind a whole wall of horses. He was flying at the end. If that race would have been a mile he would have won that race. He’s ready. We have no excuses. If he doesn’t win, he just gets beat by a better horse that day. He’s probably the best he’s ever been in his life right now,” Beaver said. “He is on top of his game right now. We’re excited. We’re just waiting for Saturday.”

Somekindofmagician, rated at 9-2 on the morning line, will have Angel Cruz back for the third straight race, breaking from Post 5 in a field of 13 including three also-eligibles.

The 2-1 program favorite is last year’s Turf runner-up, Taking Risks Stable’s Cannon’s Roar, beaten a length last year by 15-1 long shot Pretty Good Year, who returns to defend his title. Cannon’s Roar ran fifth in the Find and came back to be third, a half-length behind winner Xy Speed, in the 5 ½-furlong Laurel Dash Oct. 2 as his Million tune-up.

“It’s just been hard to get races to fill for him. I was training him to go long and I just couldn’t get anything to go, so the sprint came up and we tried to sharpen him up a little bit,” trainer Dale Capuano said. “He ran well, so now I can go from short back to long, which I like to do. Hopefully, he’ll run well. He had a terrific work the other day, and he should be ready to go.”

Capuano owns the most wins of any trainer in Maryland Million history with 14, including three last year and the 1999 Turf with Private Slip. Still seeking his first career stakes win, Cannon’s Roar will have Charlie Marquez aboard from Post 1.

“He hasn’t won one yet. He’s been unlucky in a couple of them, but nothing yet. The weather’s supposed to be good so the turf should be good and hopefully we get a good trip and we’ll see if we can finally get one,” Capuano said. “He has enough speed to get himself in a good position. Hopefully it’ll all go well. He should be all right.”

In all, four horses return from last year’s Turf including Nick Papagiorgio, who ran third. Also entered are Raven’s Delight, Benny Havens, Johng, Trifor Gold, Street Copper and Up Against It with Beltway Bob, Robert’s Luxury and Who’s Counting on the also-eligible list.

The post ‘Magician’ Can Cast Winning Spell In Maryland Million Turf appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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