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Grateful Bred Returns for Title Defense in $100,000 Turf Sprint

Originally Published by the Maryland Jockey Club - October 21, 2022

Gordon Keys’ Grateful Bred will look to break a six-race losing streak at the site of his last victory when he returns to Laurel Park as the defending champion in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Million Turf Dash.

Trained by Madison Meyers, Grateful Bred has raced exclusively in stakes company this year and finished second four times, beaten less than two lengths combined. He came up a half-length short in the King T. Leatherbury April 23 and lost by a neck in the July 30 Ben’s Cat, both at the Turf Dash’s 5 ½ furlongs.

Most recently, 6-year-old Grateful Bred was fourth after being bumped at the start of the five-furlong Laurel Dash Sept. 24. The Great Notion gelding is the 3-5 program favorite in a field that drew eight Maryland-sired horses and five Maryland-bred also-eligibles.

Grateful Bred won the Meadow Stable last summer at Colonial Downs and was second in the Rainbow Heir and fifth by a length in the Laurel Dash entering the Turf Sprint, where she led from gate to wire to win by 1 ½ lengths over Sky’s Not Falling, who also returns this year.

Mary Slade’s Island Philo has made each of her last six starts on the grass with two wins, one second and thirds in both the July 30 Jameela at Laurel and Sept. 7 Camptown at Colonial Downs. The Barbados filly, trained by Susan Cooney, was second by a neck as the favorite in a restricted 5 ½-furlong allowance Aug. 19 at Laurel under Denis Araujo, who gets the return call.

WWCD’s Rock the Boat finished fourth in last year’s Turf Sprint, beaten 4 ½ lengths, but has not raced since finishing third in an open 5 ½-furlong allowance last November. He is among the main body of the field along with Boss Man J J, Cynergy’s Star, Pickin Sea Glass and Showtime Cat.

On the Maryland-bred also-eligible list are multiple stakes winner Can the Queen, exiting a victory in the Sept. 24 Sensible Lady at Pimlico; July 30 Ben’s Cat winner Justwaveandsmile, who had a six-race turf win streak snapped last month; 2021 Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap winner B Determined, Monster Mason and Where Paradise Lay.