Connections Staying ‘Grounded’ With Undefeated Juvenile Colt Post Time - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Connections Staying ‘Grounded’ With Undefeated Juvenile Colt Post Time

“It was pretty fun. He won a stake basically in a hand ride. He didn’t come out of a gallop.”

Impressive as their budding young star was in winning his stakes debut and keeping his race record unblemished in Saturday's $100,000 Maryland Juvenile at Laurel Park, the connections of Hillwood Stable's 2-year-old Frosted colt Post Time aren't allowing themselves to look too far ahead.

Trainer Brittany Russell was pleased Sunday with the way Post Time emerged from his 3 ¾-length triumph over Maryland Million Nursery winner Johnyz From Albany to improve to 3-0 since launching his career Oct. 7.

“He came out of the race good. He had probably about three bags full of peppermints. All good,” said Russell, who celebrated the win with her husband, jockey Sheldon Russell, 3-year-old daughter Edy, and 1-year-old son Rye.

“At the barn last night, we're back there and Edy's feeding him candy. He's super kind in the barn. He's a little nippy – he's a colt – but he's just a really neat horse,” she added. “I think he just goes out and does what he does.”

Post Time's latest performance was his most impressive, trailing an unpressured Johnyz From Albany by as many as 9 ½ lengths after a quarter-mile before unleashing a bold move on the far turn to get into contention, moving up on even terms with the leader, surging past and drawing off without urging under Eric Camacho.

“The move that he made around the turn,” Russell said. “You've got Johnyz, who's a proven horse in Maryland, loose and still many lengths ahead of him. Just the way he comes to him and the way he leaves him, yesterday was a professional effort.

“I watched the race in the paddock so I walked up the stairs to watch him gallop out and his ears are pricked and it looked like he was just galloping, but Eric was trying to pull him up. He was still going,” she added. “It was pretty fun. He won a stake basically in a hand ride. He didn't come out of a gallop.”

Camacho rode 787 winners from 2004-16 and only had single mounts in 2017 and 2021 before climbing aboard Post Time for his unveiling. Camacho, whose last stakes win came with Debt Ceiling in the 2013 First State Dash at Delaware Park, works for Russell as an exercise rider and has been instrumental in bringing along a colt that was as green as he was talented.

“He really was a quirky horse early on, and he really has come around now. I would like to think that he's a much nicer version of himself now than he was when we walked him over for his maiden run,” Russell said. “It's nice to see, for both of them. Eric has done a lot of work with him.”

Bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Dr. Brooke Bowman and Milton Higgins III, Post Time has steadily stretched out in his races, winning a 5 ½-furlong off-the-turf maiden special weight by two lengths and an Oct. 27 optional claiming allowance by 6 ¾ lengths sprinting six furlongs. He captured the seven-furlong Maryland Juvenile, restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses, in 1:23.98 over a main track rated muddy.

Owner Ellen Charles named Post Time in tribute to her grandmother, Marjorie Meriwether Post, a businesswoman, socialite, philanthropist and owner of the General Foods Corp. who died in 1973. Hillwood is also the name of Post's former estate in Washington, D.C. that is now a decorative arts museum.

“He almost gives you a little bit of a heart attack, because he always drops back. But he's always been able to catch up and win,” Charles said. “[Saturday] he really took it to the extreme, I thought, but it all worked out well. Post Time knows best.”

Laurel will host one final open stakes for 2-year-olds this year – the seven-furlong, $100,000 Heft Dec. 26. In 2023, Maryland's series of stakes for 3-year-olds starts with the $100,000 Spectacular Bid going seven furlongs Jan. 21 and continues with the one-mile, $100,000 Miracle Wood Feb. 18; 1 1/6-mile, $100,000 Private Terms March 18 and 1 1/8-mile, $125,000 Federico Tesio April 15 – a 'Win and In' qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 148th Preakness Stakes (G1).

The first closing date for 2023 Triple Crown nominations, at a cost of $600, is Jan. 28, 2023. Nominations can also be made by the late March 28 deadline for $6,000.

“I'm staying super level. You never know what you're going to get day-to-day with these horses, and I'm trying to stay really cool,” Russell said. “We'll get him back to the track. Ellen and I spoke slightly about what we might do with him next and I think we're on the same page.

“Let's get him back to the track and make sure everything's good with him and then we'll move forward,” she added. “I think we're going to stay grounded.”

Russell saddled another 2-year-old winner Sunday in Madaket Stables' second-time starter L Street Lady ($3.60), a $125,000 daughter of Munnings who captured the opener in front-running style. Pressed through three furlongs by New Rome, L Street Lady took a two-length lead into the stretch and sprinted clear to win the 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight by 7 ½ lengths in 1:05.11 over a main track rated good.

It was the second mount for Sheldon Russell and first win since he returned Dec. 2 following an 11-day absence after being unseated when his mount, Raise Your Game, stumbled at the start of Race 6 Nov. 19 at Laurel.

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