Rounding the turn. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

Rounding the turn. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Graded stakes winners Hoop of Colour, Kitten’s Dumplings and A Little Bit Sassy are three of 24 fillies and mares nominated for Saturday’s $150,000 The Lady Baltimore Stakes, one of four stakes to be run on Laurel’s Saturday program opening weekend.

The Lady Baltimore Stakes, to be contested at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, will highlight a Saturday program that will include the $100,000 Laurel Dash Stakes, the $75,000 Selima Stakes and the $75,000 Laurel Futurity.

Laurel’s fall season kicks off Friday with a three-day race week and 36 stakes totaling $4 million. Highlights of the meet include the $400,000 Commonwealth Derby (G2) and $400,000 Commonwealth Cup (G2) Sept. 19, the $150,000 Commonwealth Oaks (G3) Sept. 26, and the Maryland Million Oct. 17.


The Lady Baltimore drew a stellar list of nominees including the Graham Motion-trained Hoop of Colour, who won the $200,000 Santa Ana Stakes (G2) back in March at Santa Anita. Motion also nominated Joy, winner last time out of the All Brandy Stakes at Laurel, and Pink Poppy, who earlier this year won the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park.

Kitten’s Dumplings, trained by Mike Maker and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) in 2013. The 5-year-old mare, unraced in 2014, was most recently second in the Indiana General Assembly Distaff July 18. A Little Bit Sassy, trained by Michael Matz, was third at Saratoga Aug. 8 in the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose.

Others nominated to the Lady Baltimore include Geisha Stakes winner Brenda’s Way, Dahlia winner Nellie Cashman and De La Rose runner-up Tuttipaesi.

Those nominated to the Laurel Dash over a six-furlong turf course include Diamond Jubilee (G1) winner Undrafted, the multiple-stakes winner Ben’s Cat (entered in Monday’s Turf Monster at Parx), The Mister Diz runner-up Night Officer, and Jack’s in the Deck.

The Laurel Futurity, to be contested at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf, drew nominations from Don’t Be So Salty, third in the Schenectady (G3) at Saratoga Aug. 21, and Heated Verdict, a George Weaver-trained colt who broke his maiden at Saratoga last month.

Trainer Wesley Ward has nominated four 2-year-old fillies for the Selima over a 5 1/2-furlong turf course. Those four include Acapulco, an impressive winner of the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot in June, Bruised Orange who finished second in the Schenectady, and Ruby Notion, winner of the Colleen Aug. 16 at Monmouth Park.