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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Miracle Wood Features Three Triple Crown Nominees


Three Triple Crown hopefuls and a quartet of locally based runners will face off in Saturday’s $75,000 Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park. The Miracle Wood goes at seven furlongs and will help shape springtime plans for many of these promising 3-year-olds.

J J’s Lucky Train is the 7-5 morning line favorite. The son of Silver Train won three of four starts last year and started 2011 with runner-up finishes in the Count Fleet and Whirlaway Stakes, both contested at Aqueduct. Trainer William Anderson will ship J J’s Lucky Train from his base at Parx and regular rider Jose Ferrer is his pilot.

“He’s run against some tough company, and he’s shown speed in his last couple against some nice horses,” Anderson said. “We had wanted to try him long, so that’s why we went to New York, but he won easily at six furlongs at Monmouth, so we now want to shorten him back to seven furlongs. I expect a good effort.”

Rodney Jenkins will saddle Bandbox (3-1), a three time winner from four starts. The Tapit offspring broke his maiden at Laurel, captured the Charles Town Juvenile and then won the Sleepy Hollow Stakes, a race restricted to New York-breds at Belmont Park. He ended his 2-year-old campaign with a troubled fourth in the Grade II Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct, where he had to steady after clipping heels. Travis Dunkelberger, who rode Bandbox to his maiden win, regains the mount.

Both J J’s Lucky Train and Bandbox are Triple Crown nominees.

The 1-2-3-4 finishers from Laurel’s Dancing Count Stakes will meet again in Saturday’s feature. Wicked Thunder (9-2) was up in time to beat Diski Dance by a nose in the Dancing Count, with Afternoon Action a game third and Concealed Identity a tiring fourth.

Gary Capuano trains Wicked Thunder, a speedy Thunder Gulch gelding who has finished first or second in all nine career starts. Josean Ramirez has been aboard for all of his starts.

Cathal Lynch will once again ship Diski Dance (5-1) from Parx. The son of Songandaprayer beat $12,500 maiden claiming company and won an allowance at Philadelphia, then beat $40,000 claimers at Laurel to start 2011. He led from the start in the Dancing Count and was sharp in defeat under Angel Arroyo, who retains the mount.

Afternoon Action (10-1) has been campaigned steadily against optional claiming company at Laurel since leaving the maiden ranks in his debut at Suffolk Downs. Dyn Panell is the regular rider for trainer John Rigattieri.

The third Triple Crown nominee named to start on Saturday is Concealed Identity (10-1), who captured the Maryland Juvenile Championship, one of two wins during his juvenile season. Eddie Gaudet trains the Smarty Jones gelding. J. D. Acosta will be aboard.

Indy Krizz (15-1) completes the field. The Snake Frock trainee has won twice from three starts, beating $40,000 claiming maidens at Laurel and then allowance company at Charles Town.

Four of the previous 10 Miracle Wood winners-Talk Is Money (2001), Water Cannon (2004), Malibu Moonshine (2005) and Sweetnorthernsaint (2006)-competed in at least one Triple Crown event later that year.

--Laurel release

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