Both fillies are Sagamore Farm home-breds, the winner by Candy Ride (ARG), the runner-up by After Market.
Walkwithapurpose was the prohibitive 2-5 favorite under Jeremy Rose and won off by 9-1/2 lengths in 1:38.38. Listen Boy, a 45-1 longshot, rallied under Horacio Karamanos and beat Sense of Reality and three others to the finish line.
“The plan was to break sharp and if they wanted to go fast enough to clear us they’d have to be fast and they weren’t quite fast enough,” Rose said. “I was happy to see she got pressure and still respond. I think she has more there. I thought this was the most impressive performance because she was pressured. She responded with a lot of class.”
Walkwithapurpose has now won five straight races including three stakes, all at Laurel Park. Prior to the Caesar’s Wish she captured the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship (December 31) and the Wide Country Stakes (February 2).
“She is amazing,” said Correas. “I really don’t know how good she can be. I remember the first time I worked her in company and she was awesome, so I wasn’t worried that she was pressured today. That morning she destroyed the other horse. She is very competitive though I don’t like my horses on the lead. I would rather be chasing.”
Listen Boy was making her first stakes attempt and completed a $50 exacta.
“I always thought she was good enough but she’ll be even better on the turf,” added Correas. “We gave her a chance to get some black-type and it worked out well.”
Correas indicated he would likely use the Twixt Stakes on April 6 at Pimlico Race Course for Maryland-breds as Walkwithapurpose’s prep race for the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) on May 17.
“That would give us more than 40 days between that race and the Black-Eyed Susan, which I really like,” said Correas.
Walkwithapurpose, who paid $2.80, improves to 5-of-6 lifetime with earnings of $272,210.
McCARTHY SERVING RIDING SUSPENSION
Promising apprentice Trevor McCarthy began serving a four-day suspension Friday for a riding infraction that occurred February 22 at Laurel Park. The 18-year-old will serve the days March 1-2-6-7 but is allowed to ride at other tracks when Laurel does not conduct live racing.
McCarthy won 25 races in February, which included eight multiple win days, and ranks second in the winter meeting standings with 38 victories, three fewer than fellow bug rider Yomar Ortiz.