Notes From North and South - Gone Astray First-Timer Gets Loose, And Wins
Sunday, May 1, 2022

    LAUREL, MD – Carl Hess Jr.’s 2-year-old Putthepastbehind made an auspicious start to his racing career today, getting loose in the post parade before settling down and edging clear to a three-quarter-length victory over Riccio at Laurel Park.

    Putthepastbehind ($17.80) was one of nine first-time starters in the 4 ½-furlong maiden special, the second juvenile race of the season in Maryland following Alexis’s Storm’s triumph in Saturday’s race for fillies. The winning time was 52.90 seconds over a fast main track.

   “He needed a warmup and he got it. He definitely got what he needed,” winning trainer Brian Brooks said. “We definitely had some belief in this horse and he definitely showed us he can do exactly what we want him to do without a problem.”

    Shipping in from Hawthorne Race Course, Putthepastbehind ran off with seven-pound apprentice Jeiron Barbosa – the leading rider at Laurel’s spring meet – for about three furlongs prior to the race. After having expended some nervous energy, the gray or roan son of Gone Astray loaded in the gate without incident and raced professionally, sitting off pacesetting Pompous Prince through a quarter-mile in :23.15 seconds, launching his bid once straightened for home and taking over inside the sixteenth pole.

    “I thought he was going to run right on by the pony again, but he just needed to warm up and he got exactly what he needed. He did everything we asked him to do,” Brooks said. “When we work, we always work in pairs. One day we make them fight for it and we give them the lead the next time, and they try to learn from that.

    “That’s what we do. We change them up every time we train them. Every time we work them it’s a different routine in case something like that is to happen,” he added. “If you’ve got no lane, the horse has to make his own. The jockeys can’t always do it.”

    Out of the Exchange Rate mare White Hands, Putthepastbehind is a half-brother to Puro Blanco, herself a 2-year-old debut winner in 2017. Putthepastbehind had his first timed works in March at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, before leaving for Hawthorne last month.

   Though based in the midwest, Brooks is a native of Dundalk, Md., less than nine miles southeast of downtown Baltimore. Putthepastbehind was his first starter of the year and gave him his second win in Maryland, the other coming with Justicehasbeendone last September during the Maryland State Fair meet in Timonium.

  “I’ve lived here my whole life, 32 years. My uncle, Gerald Brooks, he trains horses and I go where he goes,” Brooks said. “I’d like to stay here. It’s my uncle’s business. I just go where he goes. I don’t make any calls, I just go and do it.”

   Gone Astray, who stands at Pleasant Acres Stallions, was a multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire owned and trained by the Phipps Stable and trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. He has produced 21 2-year-old debut winners from 191 starters (10 percent).

    It was the seventh career win from 27 starters for Brooks, who hadn’t run a horse since Hess’ Concrete Glory won an allowance race on Oct. 12, 2021 at Thistledown.

    “I’m new to this horse. He’s just coming in, so I really don’t know too much about him. I know the pedigree a little bit. I listened to what the owner had to say and the trainer, and especially what the groom told me,” Brooks said. “I told the jockey exactly what I was told and the horse did it. We ask them to do it, and they do it. That’s all we can ask. It’s not us, it’s the horses.”

WHAT ARE THE ODDS - PART 1: In today's second race at Gulfstream there was one scratch, leaving a field of five. The order of finish was No. 1: Gitana, first; No. 2: Simplify, second; No. 3: Sheza Happy Girl, third; No. 4: Bargainaire, fourth; No. 5: Code Name Lise, fifth. A 1-2-3-4-5 finish - 200-1?

WHAT ARE THE ODDS - PART II - JOSE, CAN YOU SEE?: In the first race at Belmont Park on Saturday, the winner, Blake B, was ridden by Jose Gomez; the runner-up, Majestic Tiger, was ridden by Jose Ortiz; third place, Corkman, was ridden by Jose Lezcano. Almost made it to fourth, Roman Empire, who was ridden by Jorge Vargas. 

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