Posted: June 27, 2021

By Tom LaMarra

Fifty-three horses have been nominated to the two Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships Series (MATCH) stakes on the July 4 program at Pimlico Race Course.

The $100,000 Lite the Fuse (3-Year-Olds and Up Sprint—Dirt division) and $100,000 Caesar’s Wish (Filly and Mare Long—Dirt division) are among the four stakes on the holiday card at Pimlico. The first stakes in both divisions were run in May at the Maryland track.

The Lite the Fuse at six furlongs attracted 53 nominees including four that earned points in the May 15 Maryland Sprint Stakes, but none of the top three finishers are nominated. That leaves the door open for others in the division to pick up a good number of points.

WSS Racing and G Racing’s Mucho rallied strongly for fourth after a troubled start in the Maryland Sprint and in his next start at Churchill Downs missed winning the Kellys Landing Stakes by a nose. The 5-year-old horse is based at Keeneland, so it remain to be if he will be shipped back to Maryland for the Lite the Fuse.

Hillside Equestrian Meadows’ Laki, fifth in the Maryland Sprint after a victory in the Frank Whiteley Stakes at Pimlico, is likely for the Lite the Fuse. The 8-year-old Maryland-bred gelding is a two-time champion in the MATCH 3-Year-Olds and Up Sprint—Dirt division. Euro Stable’s Lebda and Robert Bone’s Eastern Bay, who finished second and third, respectively, behind Laki in the Whiteley, are also nominated to the Lite the Fuse.

The Caesar’s Wish, now at 1 1/16 miles rather than one mile because of the move from Laurel Park to Pimlico, has 20 nominees including BB Horses’ Landing Zone, who was fifth in the Allaire DuPont Stakes, the first stakes in the Filly and Mare Long—Dirt division. Based at Pimlico with Trainer Claudio Gonzalez, Landing Zone followed up with a third-place finish in the Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park on June 6.

Lite the Fuse nominations

Caesar’s Wish nominations

(Pimlico photo by Jim McCue)