Hello Beautiful targets second Laurel stakes win
Hello Beautiful won the Maryland Million Lassie. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
Hello Beautiful and Project Whiskey, each coming off their first career stakes victories, will line up in a field that also includes turf stakes winner Miss J McKay in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship.
Madaket Stables, Albert Frasetto, Mark Parkinson, K-Mac Stables and Magic City Stables’ Hello Beautiful has never been worse than third in five career starts, capped by a 3 ¾-length triumph in the six-furlong Maryland Million Lassie Oct. 19 at Laurel, a race where she dueled for the lead before leaving her rivals behind.
“It was really exciting,” trainer Brittany Russell said. “We’ve thought a lot of her, but you don’t want to get too high on them until they give you a reason to, so that was just sort of justification for us. She’s going to be fun to have around. Hopefully she stays healthy and she’ll have a lengthy racing career and maybe go on. At least, she’ll be fun to have in Maryland.”
Since the race, Russell said she kept Hello Beautiful on the same kind of training regimen the juvenile daughter of Golden Lad had going into the Maryland Million. Her husband, jockey Sheldon Russell, will climb back aboard for the sixth straight race.
“She’s doing really well. She hasn’t missed a beat,” she said. “We’re not getting fancy. We’re not trying to change a whole lot with her because what we did last time worked. We’ve just kept her happy and she’s done everything we’ve asked of her in the morning, so we expect her to run well.”
Saturday’s race will be the longest for Hello Beautiful to date, but her trainer has faith she can handle the distance. The filly drew Post 8 in a field of nine; all horses will carry 123 pounds.
“I’m not concerned. The way she works in the morning, she always goes off the right way. Sheldon does a really good job of getting her to relax early in her works and let her finish up. I think that’s the key with the 2-year-olds. She has a lot of natural ability and it’s not like she’s falling down at the end of her races. She always keeps going,” Russell said. “Obviously Miss J McKay is going to be tough to beat, but if you’re going to be good you have to beat the good ones. And, when they’re doing good, that’s the time to try it.”
Cash is King and LC Racing’s Project Whiskey is owned and trained by the same connections as Maryland Juvenile Futurity contender Monday Morning Qb. She even exits the same yearling sale last fall at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, purchased for $35,000, $10,000 more than her stablemate.
“We liked her so much that we took her up to Saratoga and she ran very respectably up there,” trainer Robert ‘Butch’ Reid Jr. said. “Now, it seems after she broke her maiden she kind of really seems like she’s figured it out.”
The Tapizar filly ran third in a pair of maiden special weights at Sartoga, , the latter beaten a head as the favorite going seven furlongs. She has won each of her last two starts, both going seven-eighths at Parx – a maiden special weight Sept. 21 and the Parx Juvenile Fillies Stakes Nov. 4.
“While her numbers aren’t that impressive, she seems like she does just what she has to do. In the stake the other day, she won comfortably and it could have been even a little easier,” Reid said. “She’s a very smart filly and has got a great head on her shoulders. She’s got handy enough speed so she can lay close and [jockey] Frankie [Pennington] can make his move when he’s ready.”
Hufflepuff, third in the Small Wonder Stakes Sept. 28 at Delaware Park and racing first off the claim for trainer Damon Dilodovico; Maryland Million Lassie runner-up Stickingtogether, Naughty Thoughts, Lookin Dynamic, Dancer’s Melody and Lucky Trinity are also entered.
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