Kiss the Girl
Kiss the Girl won the Conniver Stakes at Laurel Park. Photo by Jerry Dzierwinski.

A pair of Maryland-bred stakes were on the undercard of Saturday’s Laurel Park racing program, which also featured a pair of sophomore stakes and a stake for older runners.

Those two races — the six-furlong Not for Love for the boys and the seven-furlong Conniver for the distaff set — went to horses in very different spots in their careers. For Not for Love victor Whereshetoldmetogo, it was the seventh added-money victory of his career, while for the regally bred Kiss the Girl, who took the Conniver, it was her first.

Three Diamond Farm’s Kiss the Girl, second in the 2019 Schuylerville (G3) at Saratoga, picked up her first stakes win Saturday when she moved three wide entering the stretch under jockey Victor Carrasco to win the $75,000 Conniver by three quarters of a length.

A daughter of Into Mischief trained by Michael Trombetta, Kiss the Girl ($6) covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.21.

Breaking alertly, Kiss the Girl was rated off a :23.31 and :46.31 pace set by multiple stakes winner Artful Splatter. Entering the stretch, Carrasco drove to the lead inside the final eighth. Lookin Dynamic closed for the place and Whispering Pines finished third.

After being trained early in her career by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Kiss the Girl has a record of 5-2-1-1 with Trombetta.

Trombetta said the victory “means a lot to all of us. It’s always fun to win a stake, but you take a filly that has this type of pedigree and it becomes very important.”

Bred in Maryland by Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Conniver won the Brooklyn, Beldame, Comely and Vagrancy handicaps in 1948 to be named the nation’s top handicap mare. Nearly sold as a polo pony prior to her championship season, she retired in 1949 with 15 wins and $227,825 in purse earnings from 56 starts.

Whereshetoldmetogo won the Not for Love Stakes.
Whereshetoldmetogo won the Not for Love. Photo by Jerry Dzierwinski.

Two races prior to Kiss the Girl’s win, Whereshetoldmetogo began his 6-year-old campaign the same way he ended his 2020 season – winning a stakes race at six furlongs at Laurel Park.

Owned by Madaket Stables LLC, Ten Strike Racing, Michael Kisber and Black Cloud Stable, LLC, Whereshetoldmetogo drove four-wide at the head of the stretch under jockey Sheldon Russell to win the $75,000 Not For Love Stakes by 2 ½ lengths over Karen’s Notion. Day the Music Died checked in third.

A Maryland-bred son of El Padrino trained by Brittany Russell, Whereshetoldmetogo covered the distance in 1:09.82 for his 10th victory in 25 career starts. It was his fourth consecutive stakes score dating back to September of last year. He ended his 5-year-old campaigns with victories in the Dave’s Friend and Frank Whiteley at Laurel. The Not For Love was his first race since Dec. 26.

When asked about the nearly three month later, Brittany Russell said, “It seemed like the right thing to do at the time of year. This race and him being a Maryland-bred, it just looked like a good place to get the year started. I’m glad that the group was willing to give him a bit of time and let us have him ready to get the year started here.”

Rated off a :22.48 opening quarter, Russell moved Whereshetoldmetogo moved outside the pacesetters around the turn before getting clear inside the eighth pole.

“The horse looked like he was comfortable the whole way,” Brittany Russell said. “Sheldon had him in a good spot and they took care of it.”

By Mr. Prospector, Not For Love was Maryland’s champion stallion a record 13 times and was the nation’s leading sire by North American earnings standing outside Kentucky from 2003-10. The lifetime resident of Northview Stallion Station was pensioned in 2015 and died the following year at age 26.