June 27, 2022

Lightening Larry, Jaxon Traveler, Joy’s Rocket capture Preakness undercard sprint stakes

Lightening Larry, with Chantal Sutherland up, wins the Chick Lang Stakes for trainer Jorge Delgado, Pimlico Race Course (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

A trio of dirt sprint stakes, including a pair of graded events, were offered on Saturday’s Preakness undercard at Pimlico.

Chick Lang (G3)

Lightening Larry tracked Cogburn to the stretch, sticking a head in front with about a furlong remaining, and edged away to win the $200,000 Chick Lang (G3) by three-quarters of a length. Overlooked as the 12-1 sixth choice among eight three-year-olds, the Florida-bred colt earned his first graded stakes victory, and Chantal Sutherland was up for trainer Jorge Delgado and owner Lea Farms.

Cogburn, the 2-1 favorite, sped away from the starting gate with Lightening Larry chasing, establishing quick fractions in :21.87 and :44.14. The pacesetter led by nearly a length turning for home, but Lightening Larry had all the momentum on the outside in the lane, finishing six furlongs in 1:09.86.

Following a pair of runner-up stakes finishes, Lightening Larry opened his sophomore season with a wire-to-wire win in the Limehouse S. at Gulfstream Park. He was transferred afterward to Delgado, who freshened his charge nearly three months, and the chestnut was exiting a runner-up in the restricted Sophomore S. at Tampa Bay Downs on March 27.

Cogburn easily held second, two lengths better than late-running Chasing Time in third. Next came Alottahope, Old Homestead, Little Vic, Whelen Springs, and Doctor Jeff.

A $50,000 two-year-old purchase, Lightening Larry was bred by Michelle Redding, and he’s the first stakes winner from the Malibu Moon mare Moon and Sun.

Maryland Sprint (G3)

Controlling the pace from the start, Jaxon Traveler turned back a challenge in midstretch and drew away to a 1 3/4-length decision in the $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3). Joel Rosario guided the Maryland-bred son of Munnings, and Steve Asmussen trains the four-year-old colt for West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner.

Jaxon Traveler recorded splits in :22.95 and :45.55 on a clear lead, but Three Over Deuces drew even briefly after entering the stretch. The winner kept finding more inside the final furlong, completing six furlongs in 1:09.70, and Jaxon Traveler left the starting gate as the 6-5 favorite among six runners.

Three Over Deuces, the longest shot in the field at 23-1, held second by about two lengths over War Tocsin, and Sir Alfred James, Full Authority, and Disco Pharoah followed.

Winner of the 2021 Bachelor at Oaklawn and a two-time state-bred stakes victor, Jaxon Traveler notched his first graded triumph, improving his career line to 16-6-6-3, and he improved his Pimlico mark to 4-3-1-0, finishing second in the Chick Lang (G3) on last year’s Preakness undercard.

Bred by Dr. and Mrs. Leonard Pineau, Jaxon Traveler sold for $140,000 as a two-year-old, and he’s out of the stakes-placed After Market mare Listen Boy.

Skipat S.

Joy’s Rocket was hustled to the lead at the break and never looked back in the $100,000 Skipat S. for fillies and mares, scoring by 4 1/4 lengths for Asmussen and Rosario. Campaigned by Team Hanley and Parkland Thoroughbreds, the four-year-old filly snapped an eight-race losing streak, and the Florida-bred earned her fourth stakes win.

Up by a length through fractions in :22.57 and :45.06, Joy’s Rocket drew away in the stretch to score easily, finishing six furlongs in 1:09.76. She was off as the 7-2 third choice.

Fille d’Espirit closed for second, 1 1/2 lengths better than Time Limit, and Cinnabunny, 2-1 favorite Cilla, Oxana, Glory Dia, and Street Lute completed the order.

Out of the unraced Special Rate mare Queenie’s Pride, Joy’s Rocket was bred by Weston Thoroughbreds Training and Sales. Her career record now reads 15-5-5-1.