Team Valor International’s Cerro (IRE) is named the overwhelming favorite to win Pimlico Race Course’s final stakes race of the spring meeting, the $100,000 Canonero II for 3-year olds, on Saturday afternoon.
After racing at Gulfstream Park and Keeneland earlier this year under the tutelage of Graham Motion, Cerro (6-5) will be asked to cover 1-1/8th miles for the second time since breaking his maiden in Italy last summer. The son of Mr. Greeley is one-of-four this year including a sixth place finish behind Kentucky Derby winner Orb in the Fountain of Youth (G2). Rick Mettee took over training duties after a fourth place finish in the Lexington Stakes (G3). Alan Garcia has the riding assignment.
Dynamic Strike (3-1) is the only stakes winner in the field, taking the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel park in early February for trainer Dickie Small. Since then the son of Smart Strike finished off the board in the Private Terms Stakes and Federico Tesio Stakes. Dynamic Strike put in a bullet half-mile work Wednesday morning, in which assistant trainer Dylan Smith reports the colt “came back sharper than he went to the track.” Forest Boyce will ride for the seventh straight time.
Dreaming of Jazz (4-1), who has wins for John Rigatteri, King Leatherbury and Juan Vasquez, makes his stakes debut. Hector Garcia is now his trainer of record. Apprentice Victor Carrasco will be aboard the Woke Up Dreamin offspring.
Hanky Doodle (8-1) has finished first or second in seven of 11 lifetime starts, including the Maryland Juvenile Championship last December. However the Gary Capuano trainee has failed to hit the board in his last two stakes tries: the Private Terms and Tesio. Xavier Perez has the call on the son of Cherokee’s Boy.
Recent maiden winners Midnight Cello (8-1) and Handsome Tiger (12-1) complete the field.