A six-day turnaround didn’t bother Wicked Prankster, who took advantage of a favorable pace scenario to win the $125,000 Maryland Million Turf at Laurel Park on Oct. 22.
The 4-year-old gelding enjoyed success at Laurel earlier in the year, winning twice in his prior four starts on the track. In his most recent start, a first-level one-mile turf allowance on Oct. 16, he set the pace and held on to win by a neck in his first start in more than three months. In a 13-horse Turf field, he went off as the 4-1 second choice, with Pennsylvania-bred stakes winner Midnight Hauler the 2-1 favorite.
On paper, Wicked Prankster looked like the dominant speed horse in the field. Richard Monterrey sensed that and immediately hustled his mount to the lead from post 11. He made the lead and crossed to the rail by the time they hit the first turn, getting through an opening quarter in :23.92.
Monterrey might have hoped to slow things down in the second and third quarters, but he received pace pressure from Nick Papagiorgio and Crabs N Beer to his outside. Wicked Prankster went the half :48.28, and as the pressure increased around the far turn, got three-quarters in 1:11.91, for a third-quarter split of 23.63. Nick Papagiorgio and Crabs N Beer both drew alongside him entering the stretch, and Wicked Prankster was set down for the drive and called on for all his heart.
In the stretch, Wicked Prankster dug in and fended off his challengers. Crabs N Beer poked a nose in front at the eighth pole, but Wicked Prankster continued to dig deep and find more. Meanwhile, Street Copper, who had rated in mid-pack near the pace, was in the midst of a strong rally on the outside, providing a fresh challenge to Wicked Prankster. The three were across the track as they came towards the wire, but Wicked Prankster managed to hold on and win by three-quarters of a length in 1:49.44 for the mile and an eighth over firm turf. Street Copper got up for second over Crabs N Beer.
Wicked Prankster is owned and trained by Sammy Davis, for his first Maryland Million victory. It was also the first winning Million ride for Monterrey. The winning party was so large they could not fit in the winner’s circle, so the photo with the winner took place on the main track.
Wicked Prankster originally raced for Bell Gable Stable LLC and Jamie Ness, but was claimed out of his debut for $25,000 at Laurel Park on Labor Day 2020 by Davis, who has campaigned him ever since. He’s won four times from 24 starts, for earnings of $218,121.
Country Life Farm and Broken Trust Fund LLC bred Wicked Prankster. He’s a son of Country Life stallion Mosler, and is the second Maryland Million winner for the third-crop stallion. The other, Miss Nondescript, won the 2020 Lassie. Mosler currently ranks fourth among Maryland stallions and 14th among third-crop stallions nationwide, with 44 winners and more than $2.3 million in earnings this year.
Wicked Prankster is out of Broken Trust Fund, a daughter of the late Broken Vow. From six foals, Broken Trust Fund has produced five starters and four winners.