Follow the Dog, a member of the first crop of Northview Stallion Station sire Bandbox and a half-brother to 2017 Maryland Million Nursery winner Clever Mind, pulled clear for a three and a quarter-length victory in the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery at Laurel Park Saturday, Oct. 20.
Owned by Waldorf Racing Stables, who purchased the gray colt for $40,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling sale, Follow the Dog rated outside of longshot leader Lippi Lorenzo before taking over once straightened for home. The Marya Montoya trainee easily held off Sky Magician, who finished second in a four-horse photo with Bandbox son Outofthepark (third), Lippi Lorenzo (fourth) and Known Quantity (fifth). Final time for the six-furlongs was 1:10.14.
“We run a small barn and he fit the program,” Montoya said. “He’s a very green horse that’s really just starting to figure it out. Last time he broke a step slow. We tried to get him to rate and when he broke a step slow, he just totally lost focus. We put the blinkers on today and it was a great start.”
Follow the Dog ran second in a pair of maiden special weights at Laurel, the latter Sept. 14, when he was placed first after having to steady in the stretch. He returned to be a well-beaten fourth in an open allowance Oct. 1 at Parx, after which Montoya decided to make a change of equipment that made the difference Saturday.
“We knew in the beginning he needed [blinkers] and he just wasn’t ready for them mentally, so we went ahead and ran a couple races and then we put them on. Today was the day to put them on because it was the most important day,” she said. “The idea was to send him out of there and hopefully be on the lead, and Julian [Pimentel] was really smart and sat off the long shot. He said he’s still learning and he had tons of horse.” From four starts, Follow the Dog has earnings of $98,320.
Bred by Richard Golden’s Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds, Follow the Dog is the third stakes winner out of the Cozzene mare Two’s Cozy, who is also the dam of 2016 Maryland-bred champion steeplechaser Top Striker. Two’s Cozy and her Grade 1-winning half-sister Illuminant are out of the stakes-winning Polish Numbers mare Sparkling Number; Follow the Dog’s third dam is graded stakes winner Sunny Sparkler, dam of additional stakes winner Smart Sunny. The family includes the top-class racemare Honey Fox.
The yearling full brother to Follow the Dog sold at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling sale for $25,000; Two’s Cozy delivered a colt by Great Notion this year and was bred back to Buffum, sire of Clever Mind. Read more