Imperial Hint sprints clear to win Fire Plug
January 14, 2017 10:50am
Imperial Hint wins 2017 Fire Plug
Photo: Maryland Jockey Club

Raymond Mamone’s Imperial Hint, sent off as the favorite in his Maryland debut, coasted to the lead on the far turn and sprinted clear down the stretch to win Saturday’s $75,000 Fire Plug at Laurel Park.
The 22nd running of the Fire Plug for 4-year-olds and up shared top billing on the nine-race card with the $75,000 What a Summer for fillies and mares 4 and older, won by Sweet On Smokey. The two six-furlong sprints were the first of 22 stakes worth $2.2 million during Laurel’s 56-day winter meet that opened Jan. 1.
Based at Parx with trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. with Maryland’s two-time leading rider Trevor McCarthy aboard, Imperial Hint ($5.20) completed the distance in 1:10.52 over a good main track for his second straight win, fifth from nine career starts and second in a stakes.
Grade 3 winner Trouble Kid broke sharply and went straight to the front from Post 3, running the first quarter-mile in a swift 22.05 seconds as Imperial Hint tracked the leader on his outside. Imperial Hint met little resistance as he ranged up to take the top spot leaving the backstretch and rounded the turn in front, turning back a brief challenge from Grade 2-placed Chief Lion.
“We were pretty confident coming into this race, and he did exactly what we wanted him to do,” Carvajal said. “Trevor gave him a great ride for us.”
A 4-year-old Florida-bred son of Imperialism, Imperial Hint separated from the field down the lane as Chief Lion faded, while multiple stakes winners Chublicious and Sonny Inspired came charging late for second. Imperial Hint hit the wire 3 ¼ lengths front, with Chublicious edging Sonny Inspired by a head for the place.
"I was very fortunate to pick up the mount,” McCarthy said. “My horse wanted to go from the start, and never gave me any indication that he was not going to keep on going.”
Chief Lion, Big Guy Ian, Measured and Trouble Kid completed the order of finish.
Sweet On Smokey Rides Rail to Win $75,000 What a Summer
Angled to the rail after straightening for home, BB Horses’ Sweet On Smokey collared pacesetting favorite Disco Chick at the eighth pole and edged clear to win the $75,000 What a Summer by a half-length.
It was the third career stakes win for the 5-year-old mare and first victory since defeating Disco Chick by a head in the Dashing Beauty Stakes last summer at Delaware Park. The winning time was 1:11.89.
Looking to snap a seven-race losing streak, Disco Chick was in front through an opening quarter-mile in 23.26 seconds as Sweet On Smokey ($13) and Victor Carrasco settled in third between multiple stakes winner Lovable Lady to their outside and Camille Claudel on the rail.
“We knew we had to beat the two favorites and my mare was ready,” trainer Claudio Gonzalez said. “She had been working great since her last race, and I told Victor to stay close enough to get there.”
Southern Girl found room inside to move up beside Camille Claudel following a half in 46.78 as the five-horse field ran tightly bunched into the far turn. Lovable Lady took second as they approached the top of the stretch and Carrasco steered Sweet On Smokey to the rail, where they steadily wore down the leader.
“Claudio told me how to ride her, and I was able to come down the rail and run by [Disco Chick],” Carrasco said. “My horse really kicked in, just like he said she would.”
Disco Chick stayed up for second, followed by Lovable Lady, Camille Claudel and Southern Girl.

Source: Maryland Jockey Club


comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Top Stories