Perfect Trace was one of six Virginia-bred horses to score an owners bonus in the past ten day period by winning an overnite race in the Mid-Atlantic region. The 4 year old daughter of Pleasantly Perfect captured a $22,000, 5 1/2 furlong claiming race August 6th at Laurel. Jockey Horacio Karamanos led the gate to wire effort in a large twelve horse field. The Reid Nagle trainee was bred by Larry Johnson and is owned by Big Lick Farm. Perfect Trace, who is out of Traceable by Forest Wildcat, won her first start since breaking her maiden August 8th of last year.
Really Boppin continued a solid 2016 campaign by winning a $12,500 claiming race at Charles Town the same day and collected his 6th “in the money” finish in 8 starts this year. The 5 year old Bop gelding was bred by Jackie Hinson and is owned by the Vermont Farm, who earned the additional 25% bonus. Sent off as the heavy betting choice in a field of five, Really Boppin was a head behind at the quarter, gained control just past that marker and crossed 1 1/2 lengths over Stray Cat Jack in :52.92. The winner was claimed though for $7,000 by Kevin Joy, who will also train.
Bird Call, a 4 year old Birdstone gelding who didn’t race as a 2 or 3 year old, connected at Delaware Park August 10th in gate to wire fashion for his first lifetime win. Out of the Secret Hello mare, Silent Greeting, the winner covered the five furlong, $17,000 maiden claiming race in :58.07 and crossed 1 1/2 lengths to the better. Jockey Alex Citron was up top for Trainer James Lawrence II. Lawrence Stable owns Bird Call, and received the 25% bonus on top of purse earnings for the win.
Gem, bred by William Mott and Morgans Ford Farm, rallied from fifth in a $27,000 maiden claiming race August 13th at Laurel to also earn her first lifetime win. The 3 year daughter of Elusive Quality beat six others and won the 1 1/16th miles test by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:45.99. The Michael Trombetta trainee, sent off as the betting favorite, raced in fifth through three fractions before angling out four wide in the turn. Gem, who is out of Skipstone by Montbrook, was sixth in last fall’s Jamestown Stakes and fifth in the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes, held earlier this summer. Morgans Ford Farm also owns the victor, and collected a 25% owners bonus for the win.
Porte Cochere and Explore, the other two Virginia-bred bonus winning horses from this past week, are the only two horses to have earned a second bonus for their owners since the incentive program began July 1st . A story has already been written on those successes.
Third Brigade and Hard Enough are at different points in their careers, but both were victorious last week at tracks several thousand miles apart. The former, a 3 year old son of Exchange Rate, won his second straight race in a one mile, $26,000 claiming event at Del Mar while the latter, a 6 year old son of Hard Spun, saw his bankroll surge over the $350,000 mark with a one mile claiming race triumph at Thistledown.
Third Brigade, bred by the William Backer Revocable Trust, completed a wire to wire trip as betting favorite in 1:36.43, though he was claimed by Robertino Diodoro and Charles Garvey for $25,000. The winner is out of Bitter Lemon by Lemon Drop Kid. Hard Enough was bred by Larry Johnson, trailed through the half in a field of seven, circled outside in the far turn and powered home to win by a comfortable four length margin in 1:45.99. Out of the Mr. Greeley mare, Grecian Wings, Hard Enough earned his ninth career win from 48 starts.