ANGEL CRUZ GETS OFF THE DECK WITH STAKES WIN

Miss Leslie
Miss Leslie proved best in the Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes at Laurel Park. Photo Jim McCue.

 BB Horses’ Miss Leslie returned to her multiple stakes-winning form after five straight off-the-board finishes, outrunning long shots Lookin Dynamic and Villanelle to win Saturday’s $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go at Laurel Park.

The 1 1/16-mile Thirty Eight Go Go for fillies and mares 3 and up, part of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, was the last of three $100,000 stakes on the card, preceded by the James F. Lewis III for 2-year-olds and Smart Halo for 2-year-old fillies.

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Miss Leslie ($4) was ridden by jockey Angel Cruz, who escaped injury after being unseated during Saturday’s third race when his mount, Bust’em Kurt, was injured and subsequently euthanized on the track.

In the Thirty Eight Go Go, Cruz and Miss Leslie settled near the back of the pack in the early going, trailing all but one horse as Sosua and Grade 1-placed Off Topic raced together through splits of 23.94 and 47.29 seconds.

Cruz tipped Miss Leslie off the rail leaving the backstretch and began to roll on the turn, getting into contention after six furlongs went in 1:12.02. They continued on once straightened for home and hit the wire in 1:43.63 over a main track rated good, turning back Lookin Dynamic by a half-length. It was just a head back to Villanelle in third.

Miss Leslie entered the Thirty Eight Go Go off a 5 ¼-length optional claiming allowance win going one mile, 70 yards Oct. 21 at Delaware Park with Cruz up. Her previous stakes wins came in the April 23 Weber City Miss and last December’s Anne Arundel County, both going 1 1/16 miles at Laurel.

“I rode her one time so I knew how she does. She breaks a little slow,” Cruz said. “Claudio just told me to wait for moment to move and that’s what I did. I waited, I moved on the outside and she kicked on.”

The Thirty Eight Go Go honors the two-time Maryland-bred champion bred and trained by Hall of Famer King Leatherbury. Eight of her 10 career wins came in stakes including the Gardenia (G2), Tempted (G3) and Maryland Million Lassie in 1987 and three consecutive runnings of the Geisha (1988-90).

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