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Upset Classic Winner Prendimi Getting Well-Earned Rest

Originally published by Maryland Jockey Club - Oct. 24, 2021

G. J. Stable’s Prendimi emerged from his upset victory in the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic in good order and will be headed south next month to begin his annual winter vacation.

Trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. said the New Jersery-bred 6-year-old Dance With Ravens gelding returned to their base at Monmouth Park following the Classic and was bright and energetic Sunday morning.

“He’s good. I do play around with Twitter a little bit and I did tweet a picture of him this morning. He was very awake and I like the way he came out of the race,” Carvajal said. “First of all, he ate everything, of course. When they put him on the scale yesterday, he weighed like 1240 pounds. He’s a good eater. He got here late last night and then we waited a couple hours and we fed him and he cleaned the feed tub after that, so that’s a good sign.”

Click here to view Prendimi Tweet.

The 1 1/8-mile Classic was the richest of four career stakes wins for Prendimi and first away from Monmouth Park. He led from start to finish under jockey Mychel Sanchez and was tested every step of the way, including a protracted stretch duel with favored Tappin Cat, prevailing by a neck.

“You can see that when he wants to run, he’s a fighter. Sometimes he has his lazy days and if he doesn’t want to try, he just doesn’t try,” Carvajal said. “On the morning of the race, I thought about the horse and I thought he had a good chance. Once they open the gate, plans go out the window but he did everything right and the jockey did a great job. Mychel rode him so good and he looked so energetic down the lane. It’s good to see.”

It was the third straight trip to the Classic for Prendimi, who ran second in 2019 and seventh in 2020. He got the rest of the year off each time before returning the following season, and Carvajal said he will continue that blueprint this year.

“That’s the plan. As long as the horse is happy and healthy, there’s always the next time,” he said. “Home for me is Florida. That’s where I have my wife and kids and home. Plans are already made to go back to Florida. He’ll get a little bit of rest and probably run a few times there. Tampa Bay Downs is good and usually horses do good when they come back here.”

Carvajal, who galloped Prendimi’s dam, Cigno d’Oro, won his first career graded-stake at Laurel with Imperial Hint in the 2017 General George (G3) off a victory in Laurel’s Fire Plug the month prior. Imperial Hint would go on to four Grade 1 victories and earn more than $2.2 million in purses.

“If I had a few more horses, I probably would have left something up. I have such a good luck over there at Laurel,” he said. “Laurel has been good to me. It’s probably just a matter of time [until] I keep some horses there, too.”