By Sarah Mace
Making his stakes debut Saturday in the 1 1/16 mile, $100,000 Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park, Cobra Farm’s Twisted Tom (Creative Cause) came with a flying finish to nail 3-5 favorite and multiple stakes winner O Dionysus at the wire. The Chad Brown trainee, who RNA’d twice as a yearling for $22,000, has now won three of five career starts and banked $134,040.
Going off as 4-1 second choice in the field of seven, Twisted Tom enjoyed a ground-saving trip in fourth from his inside post, four lengths off the lead, while High Roller led, pressed along by Hashtag Alex, through an opening half mile in 48.97.
After losing several lengths in the far turn, Twisted Tom angled out four wide in upper stretch. Meanwhile O Dionysus had advanced from sixth into contention and was starting to run down Dharmaster, who had taken over the lead at the rail from third.
O Dionysus began to edge clear from Dharmaster, but Twisted Tom was charging home with huge strides. He picked off High Roller in midstretch and got up in the shadow of the wire to nip the favorite. The photo showed him winning by a short nose. A game Dharmaster finished a half-length back in third. After a mile in 1:39.19, the final time of the race was 1:45.68.
“It was very close, but my horse was finishing fast,” said winning jockey Feargal Lynch. “Mr. [Chad] Brown said, ‘Listen, he’s not going to make up six lengths,’ but luckily there was enough pace and they came back to us. When he switched leads and I got him to the outside and there was no kickback, he got it rolling.”
In a text to Gulfstream Park, Brown wrote, “I was very pleased with his performance. It was also a great ride. [Lynch] never gave up on him.”
Twisted Tom broke his maiden at second asking for trainer George Weaver and owner Thomas Brockley at Belmont Park last September 22 going a mile on the green in a state-bred maiden special weight. In his second start for Cobra and Brown on January 28 over the Aqueduct inner, he won through his first level state-bred allowance condition with a game stalking victory at the same distance.
Bred by Dr. William B. Wilmot and Dr. Joan M. Taylor, Twisted Tom is one of six winners from six foals to start out of Tiffany Twisted, a Wilmot-Taylor homebred who is a half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Incurable Optimist and two stakes-performers. Grade 1 winner Class Play appears further down the family tree. Tiffany Twisted has a yearling filly by Fed Biz and was bred to Paynter in 2016.