A pair of Virginia-breds upset their respective fields this past Sunday at Laurel Park and in winning back-to-back races on the card, saw their career bankrolls zoom into the six digit category.
Made Bail, a 4 year old Closing Argument gelding bred by Susan Cooney, captured a $45,000 allowance optional claiming race while Just Funnin’ Ya, a 5 year old daughter of City Zip bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, III, was best in an $18,000 fillies and mares claimer.
Made Bail actually had to fend off another Virginia-bred that brought quite a bit of class into the race. Two Notch Road, winner of both the 2014 & 2015 Punch Line Stakes, was favored in the 5 1/2 furlong sprint that included a field of six, but he had to settle for runner-up status. Jockey Victor Carrasco had the eventual winner positioned second at the 3/8ths mark before zipping by front running Make My Saturday midway through the turn. Made Bail, out of the Emancipator mare, Leva Mae, opened up by 2 1/2 at the top of the stretch and held off fast closing Two Notch Road to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
Cooney’s gelding, which she also owns and trains, was making his first start of the year. He crossed in 1:03.18, paid $13.40 and earned the winners share of the purse — $25,650 — which helped boost his career earnings to $111,724. Two Notch Road, a 9 year old Partner’s Hero gelding who was 4th in the 2012 Virginia Derby, was solid in his first start since an 8th place finish at Belmont last October.
Just Funnin’ Ya, sent off at 16-1 odds, surprised nine other competitors in the very next race, contested at the same 5 1/2 furlong distance. The William Wolfendale owned and trained mare chased the pace two wide around the turn, swerved to the outside to take control near the 1/8th pole and won by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:03.98. Out of the Distorted Humor mare, Humor Lee, Just Funnin’ Ya collected her fifth lifetime victory and went back to her barn with a $106,317 career bankroll. She returned $34.40 to her backers.