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Take a Hint converted a great stalking trip to victory in the Not For Love at Laurel Park on Saturday, March 16. 

The Not For Love marked the stakes debut for the 4-year-old gelded son of the late Northview stallion Bandbox. He won his first two starts of the year, but was a disappointing third in a second-level allowance on March 3 as the 2-5 favorite. That was his final start before the Not For Love, in which he went off as the 2-1 second choice in the six-horse field.

With two speed horses to his inside in Arden’sluckytobe and Rominski, Jaime Rodriguez decided to settle the usually speedy Take a Hint off the early tempo. Arden’sluckytobe set the pace, with Rominski just off his flank, through a blazing first quarter-mile in :22.18 and an opening half in :44.97. With those fractions in front of him, Take a Hint, who sat about three lengths off the pace on the far turn, was in prime position. Though Arden’sluckytobe offered some resistance from the inside, Take a Hint got the better of him late and pulled clear to win by 1 1⁄4 lengths. The final time for six furlongs over a fast main track was 1:10.72.

The victory improved Take a Hint’s career record to 5-6-3 in 14 starts, with earnings of $209,819. On the year, he’s 3-0-1 in four starts and has added $113,705 to his bankroll.

Take a Hint is owned by Larry Fowler Jr. and John Hazard, who race under the nom de course 57 Strong, and is trained by Gary Capuano. Capuano purchased Take a Hint for $22,000 on behalf of 57 Strong at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale from the Marshall Silverman consignment. Fowler and Capuano picked up another stakes win later that day when Shaft’s Bullet won the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial.

Take a Hint was bred by Charles and Cynthia McGinnes, who also co-bred Too Many Kisses, who won the Conniver later on the card. He’s out of the stakes-winning Eastern Echo mare Fancy Diamond. The McGinneses purchased Fancy Diamond’s stakes-winning dam Know B’s (by Island Whirl) for $5,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed Sale in foal to Mr. Nugget, the resulting foal winner Ronnigan. Fancy Diamond came the next year. 

Regularly selling their yearlings, the McGinneses sold the Eastern Echo filly for $18,000 to Tony Dutrow at the 2005 Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale. She went on to to win seven races in 16 starts, including the 2009 Conniver, and was stakes-placed three times with earnings of $276,695.

The McGinneses purchased Fancy Diamond back for $55,000 at the 2010 Keeneland November Sale while carrying her first foal. From nine foals, Fancy Diamond has produced six winners from as many starters, including stakes-placed Return the Ring (Speightster). Her most recent foal is an Instagrand 2-year-old colt named Fast Talkin Man, who sold for $50,000 at last year’s Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale. Not bred for 2023, Fancy Diamond is expecting a colt by Frosted.

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