Gerald Sleeter’s Love Came to Town, a 4-year-old daughter of Medallist trained by Kevin Sleeter and ridden by Mychel Sanchez, ran down the stakes winner Brenda’s Way inside the eighth pole to win the $75,000 Nellie Morse Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths today at Laurel Park.
Playful Love was third. Favored Miss Mischief was seventh.
It was the first career stakes win for Sanchez.
“It’s just something you can’t explain,” said Sanchez. “It’s just something amazing.”
Sanchez and his mount ran third through the early splits, while Brenda’s Way sprinted well clear of the field. She led by eight lengths after a half-mile in 47.54 and stretched that to a dozen lengths after three-quarters in 1:12.47.
Sanchez was patient, and when he gave Love Came to Town her cue, the four-year-old exploded through the stretch to inhale the leader.
“When she started to make a move, it makes you feel like you’re galloping in the morning, she does it so easy,” the rider said.
Love Came to Town, a winner of six of 14 races, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.50. Brenda’s Way held second, more than four lengths clear of Playful Love.
Love Came to Town, bred in New Jersey, is a Sleeter homebred. She is out of the Not for Love mare Talkin About Love, winner of the 2007 Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks and the 2009 Maryland Million Ladies.
“Her mother was a nice horse,” said Kevin Sleeter. “She won the Maryland Million here, and we’re just hoping she [Love Came to Town] could make what she made.”
Talkin About Love earned more than $740,000, which leaves Love Came to Town a ways to go. She now has $272,744 in earnings.
Kevin Sleeter said he would consider the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie (G2) Feb. 13 for his charge’s next start.