Ben's Cat (left) and Jack's in the Deck slugged it out in the Maryland Million Sprint, Jack's in the Deck prevailing by a nose. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Ben’s Cat (left) and Jack’s in the Deck slugged it out in the Maryland Million Sprint, Jack’s in the Deck prevailing by a nose. Both are nominated to the De Francis Dash. Photo by The Racing Biz.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) runner-up Private Zone and Salutos Amigos, fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint after a troubled trip, lead a group of 27 horses nominated for the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash to be run Saturday, Nov. 14 at Laurel Park.

The 24th running of the six-furlong De Francis highlights a program of six stakes worth $850,000. First race post is 12:05 p.m.

Private Zone, trained by Jorge Navarro for Good Friends Stable LLC, led late in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint before Runhappy rallied to get the money in a sizzling, track-record time of 1:08.58.  Private Zone was beaten less than one length.


David Jacobson and Southern Equine Stable’s Salutos Amigos was beaten just a neck in the Sept. 26 Vosburgh (G1) at Belmont Park before finishing a troubled fifth Oct. 31 in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. A 5-year-old gelding, Salutos Amigos, winner of the Bold Ruler (G3), Tom Fool (G3) and Fall Highweight (G3), has earned $1.1 million and is six for 15 at the distance.

Palace, a 6-year-old son of City Zip, has earned $1.4 million for trainer Linda Rice. Winner of the Forego (G1), Vanderbilt (G1) and True North (G2) in 2014, Palace would come into the De Francis off a victory in the Hudson Handicap Oct. 24.

Palace is one of six millionaires nominated to the event; another is the speedy mare La Verdad.  A winner of more than $1.6 million for trainer Linda Rice, La Verdad, running in the colors of Lady Sheila Stable, set the fractions before finishing second to Wavell Avenue in the seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Others nominated for the De Francis include popular gelding Ben’s Cat, an earner of nearly $2.5 million for Hall of Famer King Leatherbury, and Maryland Million Sprint winner Jack’s in the Deck.

The $100,000 City of Laurel, to be contested over seven furlongs, drew 30 nominations including Zayat Stable’s El Kabeir, winner of the Gotham (G3) and Jerome (G3) and third in the Wood (G1), as well as Gallant Bob (G3) winner Trouble Kid.

Those nominated for the $100,000 Safely Kept, for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs, include Lady Sheila Stable’s Charles Town Oaks (G3) winner Hot City Girl and runner-up Temper Mint Patty, and Wonder Gal, third in the Acorn (G1) and third last year in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).