From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Laurel Park will showcase two $100,000 stakes on Saturday, the Maryland Juvenile Championship for 2-year olds and the Willa On The Move for fillies and mares.

When entries closed for Saturday’s program, the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship, the sister race to the Maryland Juvenile Championship, had failed to attract a sufficient number of starters and will not be contested this year.

Maryland Million Nursery winner It’s A Bang is the 6-5 program favorite in the Maryland Juvenile. The son of Great Notion followed his Nursery win with a third place finish in the James F. Lewis Stakes. Donald Barr trains It’s A Bang and Richard Monterrey has the mount.

Joint Custody figures to be his stiffest competitor. The John Robb trainee has won three of five starts, most recently a gate-to-wire triumph in the Marylander Stakes. Previously, the son of Outflanker finished second to It’s A Bang in the Maryland Milliion Nursery and five lengths behind that one in the James F. Lewis. Wesley Ho is his regular rider.

Robb is in the midst of a banner meeting, saddling winners-to-starters at a remarkable 43% ratio this fall. Of Joint Custody he said, “He came out of his last race really well and I’m looking forward to running him. What was really disappointing was that the filly race didn’t go.” Robb had named Maryland Million Lassie winner Jonesin For Jerry to the Juvenile Filly Championship but the race had only six nominees when it closed on December 19.

Saturday’s other stakes, the Willa On The Move, attracted nine runners who will race six furlongs. The leading money earner of this band is the Mike Trombetta trained Strike The Moon (3-1). The daughter of Malibu Moon has raced exclusively in stakes in 2013, with her only win of the year coming at Charles Town in October. She followed that effort with a hard luck trip in a seven furlong stakes at Woodbine. Sheldon Russell picks up the mount.

Five Star Momma has the second largest bankroll in this field and comes to Maryland off a front running victory in the Lady In Waiting Stakes at Penn National. Based at Belmont Park in the care of Jena Antonnucci, Five Star Momma will be ridden by Victory Carrasco.

She’s Ordained was the post time favorite in the Lady In Waiting against Five Star Momma but finished a wide second after breaking in the air at the start. A winner of seven of fourteen tries in 2013, the Penn National-based filly is out to make amends for trainer Tim Kreiser.

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