Mike Trombetta trains undefeated Peace Town, the 9-5 morning line favorite. Peace Town won his debut race by eight lengths at Delaware Park in mid-June, and then on August 14 at Laurel stumbled from the gate in his second career start only to rally to win by three-parts of a length. Julian Pimentel is named to ride.
Another starter who turned in an impressive debut is Ready to Cruise (3-1), a More Than Ready colt trained by Larry Murray. Ready To Cruise is the first foal out of 2003 Maryland Million Oaks champ River Cruise. Sylvester Carmouche is his pilot.
Essenceofthemoon (4-1) has won four times in six starts, including the Charles Town Juvenile in his most recent outing, his first under the tutelage of trainer Bobbie McAlister. J.D. Acosta has the mount on the son of Malibu Moon, who won three of five races while in the Tim Salzman barn, including the first 2-year-old race of the year in Maryland at Laurel on April 12.
The Oliver’s Twist will be used as a prep race for the $150,000 Maryland Million Nursery on October 4 for four Maryland Million eligible colts or geldings: Helookslikearnold, Mr. Keeper, In the Juice and Stone in Love.
Helookslikearnold (6-1) was the victim of Peace Town’s furious rally in their previous meeting. The Chris Grove trainee beat maiden claimers before that at Delaware.
“He has gotten bigger and stronger and has shown a ton of improvement,” said Grove, who will also have Five Steps (Classic), Lexi Star (Distaff) and Sweet Goodbye (Oaks) running on Maryland’s Day At The Races. “The real target is to win on Maryland Million day. When we stretch him out to seven-eighths I think he is going to flourish and hit his best stride.”
Mr. Keeper (6-1) is one of only two horses in the field who has had a race over the grass. The son of Lion Hearted finished second in the Chenery Stakes at Colonial Downs in late July. Malcolm Franklin will ride him once again for trainer Hamilton Smith.
Both In the Juice and Stone in Love are 20-1 after leaving the maiden ranks at the Maryland State Fair meeting for trainer Jerry Robb.
Rounding out Saturday’s field are Count On Lou (15-1) and Pilanesberg (20-1).