LAUREL, MD. 10-31-12---Trainer Mike Trombetta became a major player during the 2006 Triple Crown scene with Laurel Park-based Sweetnorthernsaint, the betting favorite in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and runner-up finisher in the Preakness Stakes (G1). On Saturday afternoon, he fulfills another goal by saddling two runners on the Breeders’ Cup card at Santa Anita Park.

Next Question was an automatic qualifier in the $1 million Turf Sprint (G1) by winning the Nearctic Stakes (G1) at Woodbine earlier this month. The son of Stormy Atlantic is 10-1 on the morning line.

Strike the Moon is a 30-1 longshot in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). The daughter of Malibu Moon finished second to even money favorite Groupie Doll in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at Keeneland earlier this month and worked a half-mile bullet at Laurel Saturday morning.

“I am very happy,” said Trombetta, a 46-year-old Baltimore native. “We were hoping to get there one day and to have two starters is quite a treat. I have been to a bunch of the Breeders’ Cups as a fan but to have horses running and to be able to compete against some of the nicest horses in the game is going to be fun.”

Other Maryland-based runners on the weekend card include Animal Kingdom ($2 million Mile) and Kitten’s Point ($1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf) from the Graham Motion barn.

Not Abroad, who won the Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park on Oct. 6, is the 5-1 co-second choice in Friday’s $500,000 Marathon (G2). The son of Not For Love has 24 in the money finishes in 33 lifetime starts.

Others runners with victories in Maryland include 2011 Preakness (G1) winner Shackleford ($1 million Dirt Mile) and 2012 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) winner In Lingerie ($2 million Filly & Mare Turf).

Sarah Rook, a member of the Maryland jockey colony, will be aboard I’m Boundtoscore in Saturday’s Juvenile Turf. The 26-year-old rode the Troy Rankin trainee to victory at Colonial Downs this summer and kept the mount. Last month, the duo took the Summer Stakes (G2) at Woodbine to earn a chance in the $1 million race.
CHRISTINA RODRIGUEZ WINS FIRST CAREER RACE

Apprentice jockey Christina Rodriguez won her first career race in Wednesday’s sixth race at Laurel Park.

The 19-year-old was aboard 8-1 shot Over Marketed for trainer Tony Aguirre. They were fourth at the top of the stretch but were able to get to the rail and spurted clear inside the sixteenth pole to win by 1-3/4 lengths in the 5-½ furlong sprint. The Tale of the Cat filly paid $18.40.

“This is the first live horse I rode,” said Rodriguez, who had three mounts at Penn National before relocating to Laurel Park this week. “She ran great. I couldn’t believe I really won. It was awesome.”

Before returning to the female jockey’s quarters, Rodriguez was ambushed with the traditional good-natured dowsing of water, eggs, talcum powder and shaving cream from her fellow riders to celebrate her first victory.