Water Cannon put visions of the Preakness squarely in the minds of those who watched the Maryland-bred gelding trounce a field of six 3-year-olds yesterday in the $60,000 Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park.
Sent to the post as the 4-5 favorite, Water Cannon trumped his impressive victory in the Miracle Wood Stakes here last month when he stayed with a tepid pace, made a move at the pacesetter and then shot past Mahican to take command.
He finished under wraps in 1 minute, 45.42 seconds for the nine-furlong race, which is only 1/16th of a mile shy of the Preakness distance. Acclimate took second and Major Tanner was third. Water Cannon paid $3.80.
"This went pretty easily and it was a little unexpected as far a race goes," said jockey Ramon Dominguez. "He broke a little flat-footed but he didn't panic. When I finally got him out, he made up ground a little quicker than I expected, but that didn't stop him and he kept on running - and he did it very easily, too."
It was the fourth straight win for the gelding since Bowie-based conditioner Linda Albert fitted him with blinkers.