After two defeats in a row, Johnyz From Albany got back to his winning ways on Oct. 22 at Laurel Park, when he won the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery by five lengths.
A homebred for Chip Reed, Johnyz From Albany – named after the late brother of Reed’s friend Mike Zanella – broke his maiden in his first start at Laurel on Aug. 21. In his first start against winners at Pimlico on Sept. 10, he finished third behind graded stakes-placed Super Chow. Next out, he was second at Laurel on Oct. 2 behind impressive gate-to-wire winner Recruiter.
The Nursery was a wide-open betting race, and Johnyz From Albany went off as the 4-1 fourth choice in the field of 11.
Breaking from post position six, the gray/roan son of Blofeld began well and was sent to the early lead by Jorge Ruiz. He opened up a one-length lead early, getting a quarter in :22.75 and reeling off a half-mile in :46.37. As they turned for home, Johnyz From Albany was pulling away. He was four lengths in front as they charged down the Laurel Park stretch and no one made up any serious ground late. He crossed the line as much the best, running six furlongs in 1:11.35.
With his second win in four starts, Johnyz From Albany now has earnings of $109,510. He’s the first Maryland-bred to win the Nursery since Ournationonparade in 2019 and provided Dale Capuano with his 15th Maryland Million win to sit firmly atop Maryland Million’s all-time leading trainers list, five more than King T. Leatherbury and Michael Trombetta. Capuano previously won the Nursery in 2004 with What’s Up Lonely and 2020 with Kenny Had a Notion.
Johnyz From Albany is the first stakes winner for Blofeld, who stands at Murmur Farm, and is a member of his second crop. From 33 runners in 2022, Blofeld has produced 25 winners and progeny earnings of $1.5 million, ranking him eighth among Maryland stallions and 21st among national second-crop stallions. His daughter Chickieness won the Lassie four races later on the card, and the 3-year-old gelding Crabs N Beer was third in the Maryland Million Turf.
Two-time Maryland Million Ladies champion Monster Sleeping, also trained by Capuano and campaigned by Reed, is the dam of Johnyz From Albany. The daughter of Oratory raced 55 times, winning 10 and placing in 20 others, and hit the board in eight stakes while earning $537,119. Her two earlier foals are winners Monster Rising (Mosler) and Party Monster (Divining Rod). She has a yearling filly by Summer Front named Monster Summer, and an unnamed weanling full-sister to Johnyz From Albany.