LC Racing’s multiple stakes-winner Ninetyprcentmaddie made his first trip outside of Parx Racing on Feb. 11 to make his graded stakes debut in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Though the son of Weigelia finished a distant seventh after failing to fire, trainer Butch Reid, Jr. said he may consider another try over the same surface and distance in the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 8.

“It’s possible,” said Reid, Jr., who finished in-the-money with 7-of-9 runners at the Big A last year. “There’s several races around that time and we wonder if he handled that surface there, so we’ve got some questions to think about. But we’ll see how the races shape up and make our decision from there. I don’t think shipping is his best thing, but he’ll probably have to go on the road again for his next start. We will probably ship him in a little earlier to get him used to his surroundings.”

The Wood Memorial is the last local prep on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, awarding the top-five finishers 100-40-30-20-10 qualifying points, respectively, towards the prestigious Grade 1 test on May 6 at Churchill Downs.

Ninetyprcentmaddie, who is now a dual stakes winner, bounced out of his Withers effort with an emphatic score in Monday’s City of Brotherly Love at one-mile and 70 yards over the main track at Parx Racing, leading at every point of call to post an eye-catching 9 3/4-length victory in a final time of 1:44.57. The effort was awarded a career-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure, a number that Reid, Jr. said gives him confidence in stretching Ninetyprcentmaddie out even further.

“I don’t think distance is a problem and I’ve always felt he’s a distance horse waiting to happen and that he proved that on Monday,” said Reid, Jr. “If you throw out the Withers, it was really his first time around two turns. It seems like he learned from it and will be even better next time.

“He came out of it really well and happy,” Reid, Jr. added. “I was happy to see him come back after that effort in the Withers and be no worse for wear. The jockey [Abner Adorno] said he was kind of choking up down the backside last time and maybe he flipped his pallet, but he didn’t show any signs of that this time.”

Earlier on Monday’s card at Parx, Reid, Jr. sent out Swilcan Stables and LC Racing’s multiple stakes-winner Girl Trouble to a third-place finish in the one-mile and 70-yard Main Line.

Ridden by Paco Lopez from post 1, the often prominently-placed Girl Trouble was held in fourth position along the rail through the first turn as Social Success marked a tepid opening quarter-mile in 24.66 seconds. Girl Trouble advanced to third position under a strong ride from Lopez at the half-mile call and was swung three-wide in pursuit of the pacesetter at the top of the lane. She battled down the stretch with Gold Metal Anna to her inside and was nosed out of place honors by that foe, finishing 2 1/2 lengths behind Social Success.

“She came out of the race well. I wasn’t extremely happy with the ride Paco gave her, but he even apologized for it,” said Reid, Jr. “We made a couple mistakes there, but we certainly haven’t lost any faith in her. She’s a very nice little filly.”

Girl Trouble’s latest performance came on the heels of a runner-up effort to Interpolate in the seven-furlong Ruthless on February 5 at the Big A. She earned her two career stakes triumphs in the seven-furlong Parx Futurity in January and the six-furlong Future Stars Filly Division in November. While the daughter of Fast Anna has now won around two turns, Reid, Jr. said he believes the nine-furlong Grade 3, $250,000 Gazelle, a 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Oaks Qualifier on April 8 at Aqueduct, may be too far.

“I think she proved the other day that she can get a route of ground as well, but she is probably better at the middle distance of seven-eighths to a mile,” said Reid, Jr. “I don’t think she wants to go beyond that. We’ll take a look at the Gazelle, but I think that would be stretching it for her.”

On Tuesday, Reid, Jr. celebrated another Parx stakes victory with Cash is King and LC Racing’s Disco Ebo, a dominant 4 1/4-length winner of the 6 1/2-furlong Penn’s Landing in pacesetting fashion under Frankie Pennington. The Weigelia bay, who had not raced beyond six furlongs since a distant seventh-place finish in the seven-furlong Grade 3 Forward Gal at Gulfstream last February, has won her last three races by a combined 15 1/2 lengths and received a career-best 96 Beyer for her latest effort.

“She’s great. We really weren’t sure about her getting much beyond three-quarters of a mile,” said Reid, Jr. “She stretched out to six and a half and handled it very well. That was a pleasant surprise, so I think she’ll be a major player in some of the major sprint races here in the northeast.”

Reid, Jr. said he is still considering options for Disco Ebo’s next start.

Among Reid, Jr.’s seven winners at the Big A last year was Cash is King and LC Racing’s Dr B, who made the grade with a pacesetting triumph in the Grade 3 Go for Wand on December 3 over a sloppy and sealed Big A main track. The 5-year-old daughter of Liam’s Map received a freshening following her victory and returned to Reid, Jr.’s barn on Monday alongside Grade 1-placed Morning Matcha, who returns to training after finishing third in the Grade 3 Comely on November 25 here.

“Dr B just got back here with Morning Matcha,” said Reid, Jr. “They’ve been galloping all week, they both look fantastic and have put on weight, and we’ll be looking for some major events for them in the next couple of months.”

Reid, Jr. also sent out Eloquist to victory in the nine-furlong Discovery on November 27, scoring the victory by a nose over Barese in a thrilling renewal of the historic test for sophomores. Owned by Cash is King and LC Racing, Eloquist had his first race back in a January 30 allowance at Parx, finishing a non-threatening fourth after tracking in third throughout the one-mile route. Reid, Jr. said the Nyquist colt, who won a $40,000 claiming tilt at Saratoga Race Course last summer, will be freshened in Florida and pointed towards a summer campaign and a return to the Spa.

“He’s on the farm with Barry Eisaman getting some ‘R and R’ and eating some grass,” said Reid, Jr. “He seemed like he really handled the Saratoga surface, so we’ll be bringing him back next month and look for a campaign in late summer and early fall.”

Joining Eloquist at Eisaman’s Williston, Florida facility is graded stakes-winner Ridin With Biden, who won the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup for the same owners in September at Parx. The Constitution gelding, who has won four stakes races, was last seen finishing off-the-board in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational on January 28 at Gulfstream Park where he tracked in last-of-12 throughout and failed to improve position.

“He came out of it fine but we dropped him off at the farm and he’s getting a nice break, too,” said Reid, Jr. “He had a hard campaign last year. Things didn’t really work out for him in the Pegasus and he was a victim of pace, but we haven’t lost any faith in him and he’ll be nice and fresh for a nice summer campaign. We’re happy and I think we’re looking forward to a strong year this year.”

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Cover Photo Credit to Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

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