Monster Sleeping looks to defend Jameela title
Monster Sleeping wins the 2013 Maryland Million Ladies. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
It took three tries before Charles J. Reed’s Monster Sleeping earned her first victory in the $75,000 Jameela Stakes last summer. The 7-year-old mare can become just the second horse to win it for a second time Saturday at Laurel Park.
The 29th running of the six-furlong Jameela for fillies and mares 3 and up is one of two stakes on the 11-race Maryland Pride Day program, joined by the $75,000 Mister Diz Stakes for 3-year-olds and up, also at six furlongs. Both races are restricted to Maryland-bred/-sired horses and scheduled to be run on the Fort Marcy Turf Course.
Only Madame Giry in 2013 and 2014 has won multiple editions of the Jameela, run in honor of the first Maryland-bred to go over $1 million in earnings and whose name means ‘beautiful’ in Arabic. Monster Sleeping finished third by a nose and two lengths at odds of 28-1 in 2013 and second by a neck in 2014 at 8-1.
This will be the 15th career try at six furlongs for Monster Sleeping and the first since last year’s Jameela. She has three wins, two seconds and four thirds at the distance and has finished in the money in 15 of 24 lifetime starts at Laurel with five wins.
“It’s worked out well for us in the past. She’s got a good record going three-quarters on the turf. It’s a good distance for her,” trainer Dale Capuano said. “Obviously, we want to try to get to the Maryland Million again this year. We have this one and probably just one more if I can find something before Maryland Million.”
Monster Sleeping opened this year with a gutsy head victory in a 5 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance April 3 at Laurel. She ran into traffic trouble in the Gallorette (G3) May 21 and found herself parked wide on both turns and came up 1 ¼ lengths short running fourth in the June 25 All Brandy Stakes, both at historic Pimlico Race Course.
“She was wide the whole way and the pace was slow and she just didn’t get a good trip. She still didn’t get beat much,” Capuano said. “She’s as good this year as she was last year.”
Last year, Monster Sleeping won two of five starts, both in stakes, capturing the Jameela and the 1 1/8-mile Maryland Million Ladies Stakes, also on grass. Overall she has 10 wins, 10 seconds and nine thirds from 50 career races.
Maryland’s leading rider Trevor McCarthy will be aboard Monster Sleeping from Post 7 at 120 pounds. The Jameela drew an overflow field of 14 horses including three also-eligibles.
Capuano has a second Jameela starter in Richard Vermillion’s Rocky Policy, a 4-year-old filly making the first start for her new connections since being claimed for $32,000 after running third by a neck in a five-furlong turf sprint June 10 at Pimlico.
Rocky Policy has some stakes experience, finishing second in the 2014 Maryland Million Lassie and sixth in both the 2014 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship Stakes and 2015 Wide Country Stakes. In a pair of optional claiming allowances at Laurel this year, she was fifth, beaten less than a length by Monster Sleeping April 6 and second by a nose April 24 to Forest Funds, who went on to finish second in the Honey Bee Stakes at Monmouth Park and win the Jill Jellison Memorial Dash at Suffolk Downs.
“She ran against Monster Sleeping in the first turf race and only lost three-quarters of a length to her. She’s run well on the turf and I thought she’s young, only 4. There were some things to like about her so we figured we’d take a shot,” Capuano said. “She’s run against some stakes-quality fillies.
“Actually both of [them] are training excellent,” he added. “I couldn’t ask them to come into a race any better.”
Alex Cintron will be aboard Rocky Policy from Post 8 at 118 pounds.
Everything Lovely had a three-race win streak snapped when second by 2 ¼ lengths as the favorite in the 2015 Jameela. Trained by Kathleen Demasi, the 4-year-old filly has raced just twice since Sept. 7, finishing off the board in the The Very One May 21 at Pimlico and beaten a half-length when third in the Honey Bee Stakes June 11 at Monmouth Park. Daniel Centeno will ride from Post 10 at 118 pounds.
The 122-pound highweight for the Jameela is 5-year-old Not For Love mare Loveable Lady, coming off a six-furlong optional claiming allowance win on the dirt June 25 at Pimlico. The Mary Eppler trainee has made one previous turf start, finishing eighth following a rough inside trip in the same Laurel optional claiming allowance April 24 in which Forest Funds and Rocky Policy ran 1-2. Horacio Karamanos rides from Post 6.
Rounding out the field are 2014 Maryland Million Lassie winner My Magician; See What Happens, ninth in last year’s Jameela; Cowgirl Creed, Deliver Me, Like a Lion, Pret Say Eye and Sazerac Girl. Dance With Gio, Six Tonsafun and Street Cruizer are entered as also-eligibles.