Monday Morning Qb seeking score in Md. Juvenile Futurity
Tommy Shelby took a Laurel Park allowance. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
Cash is King and LC Racing’s Monday Morning Qb looks to come up big Saturday afternoon as he takes the step up to stakes company for the first time off an impressive maiden triumph in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Futurity at Laurel Park.
The Futurity for 2-year-olds and $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship, each at seven furlongs, are among four stakes restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses worth $350,000 in purses on a nine-race Maryland Spectacular Day program.
Gates will open at 11 a.m. with a 12:25 p.m. first post. Festivities include a 2020 Maryland Jockey Club calendar giveaway and the chance to win prizes from the $10,000 giving tree, the latter with program purchase. Also, fans that bring in a new, unwrapped toy or make a donation qualify to receive an item from Laurel’s Give-a-Gift, Get-a-Gift table.
Trained by Parx-based Robert ‘Butch’ Reid Jr., Monday Morning Qb was purchased for $25,000 out of Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic Eastern Fall yearling sale last October at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. The juvenile son of Imagining debuted Oct. 12 over his home track, finishing second after pressing the pace going six furlongs.
Reid brought him back in another maiden special weight Nov. 16, this one at 5 ½ furlongs, and he responded with a dominant 2 ¼-length victory after initially being reluctant to load in the starting gate.
“We kind of rushed him into his first start. It was Pennsylvania Derby day and he ran respectably and finished second. We gave him a little time and he started to round into his full potential in that second start,” Reid said. “He was a little bit of a handful but a typical 2-year-old colt. His head is getting better now, he’s much better concentrating and I like the way he finished up last time for sure.
“It was only going 5 ½ furlongs but I think he’s really bred to go longer. He’s got Giant’s Causeway on the top side so I don’t think seven-eighths will be a problem, and we’ll be looking to stretch him out from here,” he added. “We’re excited. We think he’s got a big future.”
Joseph Besecker’s Laddie Liam has sandwiched wins around finishing third in his lone previous stakes try, the six-furlong Maryland Million Nursery Oct. 19. He graduated with a waiver maiden triumph going three-quarters Sept. 20, his second career start, and last out was a one-length winner in an optional claiming allowance going one mile Nov. 14.
Port Lairge Stables’ Tommy Shelby, based at Pimlico Race Course with trainer Henry Walters, returns to stakes company after winning a 5 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance Nov. 10 at Laurel. He ran second in the 5 ½-furlong First State Dash Sept. 28 at Delaware Park and fourth in the Maryland Million Nursery after winning each of his first two starts this summer at Laurel.
Raging Whiskey and Sir Back in Black, respectively fourth and fifth in the James F. Lewis III Stakes Nov. 16 at Laurel; Maryland Million Nursery runner-up Stone Courageous; and last out winners Literally, Mine Not Mine and The Quantico Kid complete the field.
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