LAUREL, MD. – Love Musicwho made his racing debut on clay for the first time in over a year, had no trouble adapting to the company or the surface with a 2½ length triumph in the search of $100,000 from Saturday.
Owned by trainer Gerald Brooks, Carl Hess Jr. and Ronald Clark, Music Amore ($18.40) notched its second win in three starts since being claimed by Brooks for $20,000 in May. She ran a mile in 1:38.88 on a fast main track to give teenage jockey Jeiron Barbosa his first career win.
Breaking inside each of their seven rivals after the first scratch from Vergara, who had pulled the rail, Music Amore was shoved out of the gate and raced evenly with Queen Masha on the outside for a quarter of a mile in 23.78 seconds with the winner of the Ocean Safari stakes in the clear three wide and 6-5 favorite Lady Puchi racing between the horses in fourth.
Music Amore began to pull away from Queen Macha entering the far corner as Lady Puchi gained ground on the inside and Ocean Safari, racing for the first time since winning the May 7 Honey Ryder at Gulfstream Park , was difficult to keep. at the top. Lady Puchi hit Music Amore halfway through the turn and the two straightened together to head home, but Music Amore managed to keep the favorite at bay throughout the stretch.
Lady Puchi was second clear, 9¼ lengths ahead of Pharoah’s Song. Queen Macha, Cupid’s Strike, Quality Control, Tasweya and Ocean Safari completed the order of finish. Gastown Babe and Sparkle Blue were also scratched.
“When she took the lead coming down from the back, I said, ‘We have a chance. When she returned home, she has a big heart and she took care of that,” Brooks said.
Music Amore had raced exclusively on grass and all-weather surfaces since finishing fifth in an inaugural five furlong sprint last July at Gulfstream. Winless in five starts as a 2-year-old, she beat her young daughter by running a mile on the Tampa Bay Downs turf on January 8 and was claimed two starts later on a lead win at Almost Isle Downs, also running eight stadiums.
” I did not know. She’s never been on earth [since her debut]”Brooks said of the surface switch. “I said, ‘Well, let’s go ahead and see how far this can take us. She did it.’
According to Equibase statistics, Barbosa, 18, had placed twice this year, finishing second in the June 9 Tremont at Belmont Park aboard Putthepastbehind and third in the July 9 Delaware Handicap (G3) with Tonal Vision.
Barbosa, who speaks little English, began riding professionally Jan. 1 in his native Puerto Rico before arriving in Maryland and winning with his first two U.S. rigs March 25 at Laurel. He held off Jevian Toledo to win Laurel’s spring title, becoming the third apprentice in track history to be the top rider after Yomar Ortiz (winter 2013) and Julio Correa (summer 2019).
“I’m happy,” Barbosa said.
Searching, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978, was a bay daughter of 1937 Triple Crown Champion War Admiral bred by Odgen Phipps who won the Gallorette Stakes at Pimlico in 1955 and 1957 for trainer Hirsch Jacobs, taking her retired with a 25-14-16 record with $327,381 in stock market earnings over 89 starts. As a broodmare, Searching also enjoyed great success with offspring such as Affectionately, 18-time Stake winner and dam of Personality, winner of Preakness in 1970, and Admiring, the grandmother of Sea Hero, winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1993.
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo: Jim McCue/MJC