Over 200 nominated to Laurel opening weekend stakes

by | Sep 2, 2016 | Breaking, Maryland, MD Racing, Racing

St. Albans Boy (in between, with white shadow roll) edged Perfect Title and Uncle Dave to win the 2015 Laurel Turf Cup. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Laurel Park’s Turf Festival, highlighted by five stakes worth $500,000 on Laurel’s world-class turf course Saturday, Sept. 10, attracted more than 200 nominations.

The Turf Festival, which features $575,000 in total stakes purses, kicks off Laurel’s lucrative fall season featuring 32 stakes (four graded) with purses of $3.25 million. Laurel’s fall season begins Friday. First race post time will be 1:10 p.m.

The Laurel Turf Festival will also play host to the Hops & Horses Beer Festival featuring more than 100 beers, a Beer Pong tournament, a Sam Adams Hoisting competition and live music. For more information, click here.

The $150,000 Lady Baltimore Stakes, for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, attracted 46 nominations including nine graded-stakes winners. Those graded winners include Isabella Sings and Itsonlyactingdad from the barn of Todd Pletcher, Tuttipaesi, Tammy the Torpedo, Tiger Ride, Photo Call and Onus, winner last year of Laurel’s Commonwealth Oaks (G3).

Others nominated to the Lady Baltimore include Lovable Lady and Monster Sleeper, the first and third-place finishes in the Aug. 20 Jameela at Laurel, and Ginger N Rye, second earlier this year in the All Brandy and Dahlia.

The $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup, for 3-year-olds and up on a 1 1/2 mile course, drew 36 nominations including two graded stakes winners from the barn of trainer Graham Motion – Cliff Hanger (G3) winner Can’thelpbelieving and Sky Classic (G2) winner Messi. Also nominated is Triple Threat, fourth last time out in the United Nations (G1), El Jefe Grande, third in last year’s Commonwealth Cup (G2), and former Tesio winner Bodhisattva, who would be making his turf debut.

The $100,000 Laurel Dash on a six furlong course attracted 35 nominations.  Those nominees include the top three finishers from the August 20 Mister Diz at Laurel: John Jones, Just Jack, and Ben’s Cat.  Also nominated are the top pair from the Grade 3 Parx Dash in Pure Sensation and Power Alert, as well as the graded-stakes placed Mosler.

The Laurel Futurity attracted 33 nominees including Kathleen Willier’s Greatbullsoffire, who broke his maiden at Laurel in July for trainer Hamilton Smith before winning the Strike Your Colors at Delaware Park Aug. 4. Other nominations for the Futurity included Boys From Boston, fourth in the Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs; Follow the Rainbow, third in Monmouth Park’s Tyro Aug. 7; Line Judge, winner Aug. 27 of Canterbury’s Carless Navigator overnight stakes; and impressive local maiden winner Undulated.

Nominated for the Selima, a 5 1/2-furlong turf event for 2-year-old fillies, is Lynch Racing’s Clairvoyant Lady, winner of the White Clay Creek Stakes at Delaware Aug. 3, and Harlands Thunder, third in Saratoga’s Schuylerville (G3) and Monmouth’s Colleen.

Trainer Wesley Ward nominated Con Te Partiro, winner of Saratoga’s Bolton Landing Stakes, and Colleen Stakes winner Red Lodge. Trainer George Weaver also nominated two in Twist ‘n Shout, fourth in Saratoga’s Seeking the Ante Stakes, and Zero Zee, a daughter of Divine Park who broke her maiden first time out Aug. 12 at Saratoga.

The $75,000 Shine Again, a seven furlong event for non-winners of a sweepstakes, will also be run on the Turf Festival program.