Eddy Gourmet and Sheldon Russell cruised to victory in the Conniver for Maryland-bred fillies and mares today. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Eddy Gourmet and Sheldon Russell cruised to victory in the Conniver for Maryland-bred fillies and mares in March. Photo by The Racing Biz.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

A field of 10 fillies and mares, led by Classy Coco and Eddy Gourmet, highlight a 10-race program when Laurel Park resumes racing Saturday afternoon with a first race post of 12:25 p.m.

The 10-race card has drawn a total of 132 entries including Classy Coco, winner of last year’s Maryland Million Distaff and Eddy Gourmet, winner of this year’s Conniver Stakes. The featured allowance optional claimer at 5 ½ furlongs has also drawn last-out allowance winner Tallow and the 3-year-old filly E Dubai’s Humor, who finished seventh, beaten 2 1/4-lengths Nov. 6, coming off a year layoff and second-place finish in the Smart Halo.

R. Larry Johnson’s Classy Coco hasn’t won since October of last year when she won the Maryland Million Distaff at Laurel Park by six lengths for trainer Bernard Houghton. The 5-year-old daughter of Not For Love will be making her first start for the current meet’s leading trainer Mike Trombetta, who will be trying to improve on the mare’s winless 2015 campaign.

A 5-year-old mare, Classy Coco finished off the board over the winter at Tampa Downs in the Minaret and a $100,000 optional claimer before finishing eighth in the Foxy J.G. Stakes at Parx. Her seventh-place finish Oct. 7 in the Maryland Million Distaff was her first race since finishing 11th in the Northern Fling at Presque Isle in July.

“They (owner’s trainer Suzanne Dempsey) trained her on the farm and they brought her in and ran her last time and I think she ran an OK race, she just got a little tired,” Trombetta said. “She stayed with us since then and she should benefit from a couple of breezes and having that race under her.”

Classy Coco has two wins from seven starts at Laurel Park for career earnings of $282,761.

Eddy Gourmet earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure when she romped home by nearly eight lengths last March in the Conniver Stakes at Laurel Park, a restricted stake for Maryland-breds, but has gone winless in her past seven starts. The Hugh McMahon-trained 5-year-old daughter of Pimlico Special winner Eddington has three wins from six starts at Laurel Park, and has career earnings of $263,401.


  • Colts Neck Stables LLC’s Awesome Speed was tenacious in victory in last Saturday’s James F. Lewis III Stakes at Laurel Park when he defeated eight other 2-year-old rivals while earning a 89 Beyer Speed Figure. Trained by Alan Goldberg, the 2-year-old son of Awesome Again ran the six furlongs in 1:09.67, only a couple ticks off the winning time of Saturday’s featured Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash.  Sent off at nearly 7-1, Awesome Speed fought his way to the lead while two-three wide around the far turn, and fought off all challengers inside and out throughout the stretch battle to win impressively by three-quarters of a length. Saturday’s win was the Kentucky-bred’s first try against winners since breaking his maiden at Laurel Park on October 10th. He now has two wins from three starts for earnings of $83,100.
  • Memories of Winter, trained by Anthony Margotta, Jr., is 10-1 in the morning-line and will be facing the likes of Exaggerator and Sunny Ridge in the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) Saturday. Exaggerator won the Saratoga Special (G2) and was recently fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), while Sunny Ridge is coming into the race off of a second-place effort in The Champagne (G1).
  • Laurel Park will host a special Thanksgiving Day program Thursday with an 11:05 a.m. first race post time.  Along with offering free donuts, coffee and cider from 9:30-11 a.m., fans can take home a free pumpkin or apple pie from the Dutch Country Farmer’s Market with the purchase of a program. There will also be a traditional Thanksgiving buffet offered between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for $28 per person. Reservations can be made at 301.725.0770.