February 17, 2022
LAUREL, Md.—Vintage Thoroughbreds and Ben Lynch’s Perfect Day has lived up to his name thus far, going undefeated through two starts, each race by open lengths. He will put that unblemished record to the test Saturday when he makes his stakes debut in the $100,000 Miracle Wood at Laurel Park.
The one-mile Miracle Wood is the latest in Maryland’s stakes series for 3-year-olds, preceded by the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid Jan. 29 and followed by the Private Terms at about 1 1/16 miles March 19 and 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio April 16, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 147th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 21 at historic Pimlico Race Course.
A chestnut son of Competitive Edge, winner of the seven-furlong Hopeful (G1) in 2014 and 2015 Pat Day Mile (G3), Perfect Day was purchased for $40,000 last June as a 2-year-old in training. Trainer Tyler Servis, whose father John won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness with Smarty Jones, took his time bringing his horse to the races.
“We gave him a little bit of time after the sale, just to acclimate him to racing and to get his head in the right spot. Coming out of those 2-year-old sales, those horses can be a little ramped up,” Servis said. “We didn’t want him to be too aggressive early, so we gave him a little bit of time and let him settle in. Once he started training and breezing, he started showing us some pretty good things so we always thought we had a decent little horse.”
Perfect Day debuted with a 5 ¼-length maiden special weight triumph sprinting 5 ½ furlongs Dec. 8 at Penn National, where he pressed the pace before taking over and drawing clear through the stretch. Servis planned the unveiling to be the previous week at their home track of Parx, but Perfect Day had other ideas.
“I actually had him in at Parx eight days before that race and he got loose in the post parade. They couldn’t catch him for about 20 minutes and once they finally caught him, they scratched him,” he said. “That race was our second option. For a first-timer, shipping up to Penn with the lights and everything, he handled it as good as you can as for a horse.”
Stretched out to six furlongs for his most recent start, Perfect Day ran a similar stalk-and-pounce race but was even more impressive, leaving his rivals behind in an 8 ¾-length romp.
“The second time, obviously everybody gets a little nervous the first time against winners. We didn’t know what he beat at Penn National at the time we entered him for the race, but come to find out five of those top finishers all came back and won,” Servis said. “It looked like a pretty key race that he came out of so we were pretty optimistic he was going to run a big race.”
Perfect Day drew the rail post in a field of nine with regular rider Abner Adorno named. They are a narrow third choice on the morning line behind Maryland-based Conclusive (7-2) and Alottahope (4-1).
“We felt comfortable entering him in the Miracle Wood. It’s not that far of a ship for us. It wasn’t the Gotham, which is a graded stake and maybe just a touch too much to ask of him at this stage. I think it’s good stepping-stone. We’ll see how good he is,” Servis said.
“I think he fits. It looks like there’s a couple horses in the race that are wheeling back a little quick, so that could be to our advantage,” he added. “The one hole I’m not thrilled with, but with his tactical speed, as long as he leaves there running, I don’t think he’ll have a problem.”
Maryland Jockey Club Press Release