Right setup could benefit Kaylasaurus in Alma North

If the speed in Saturday’s $100,000 Alma North Stakes at Laurel Park backs up, the horse most likely to benefit is Kaylasaurus, a six-year-old Munnings mare.

Kaylasaurus is 3-1 on the morning line, and while the Alma North, a 6 ½-furlong dirt test for fillies and mares, has drawn only five runners, three of them like to be on or near the lead. Horacio Karamanos has the mount on Kaylasaurus.

Bush Racing Stable claimed Kaylasaurus for $25,000 last November out of a win in a second-level allowance/optional claimer at Penn National. That’s a relatively high-end claim at the Grantville, PA track.

“Thankfully, I have some partners that really trusted me on this particular horse,” Bush Racing Stable’s David Bushey said in April after a win in the Primonetta. “I said to them, ‘Look, she’s a Pennsylvania-bred. At worst, we run right back in that same race.’ I thought she would be competitive all day long.”

In six starts since the claim, she’s been worse than third only once, when fourth and beaten 1 ½ lengths in the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie February 19 at Laurel Park. Last time out, she ran an even third behind Fille d’Esprit in the Susquehanna Valley Stakes at Penn National, and in the race prior, she won the Primonetta at Laurel Park.

Kaylasaurus is showing two works since the June 19 Susquehanna Valley.

“She’s doing good,” trainer Tim Kreiser said. “The last time, that track’s very speed-favoring and it’s hard to catch up. There was some speed in there. She sure likes Laurel. Obviously, Laurel’s been known for closers, always has. It’s gotten a little speedier, but I’d say it’s more of a fair track for closers, that’s for sure.”

Kaylasaurus has won twice in seven Laurel outings and been second three other times. She’s made her two local wins count, though; the first came in the $100,000 Willa On the Move Jan. 29, and the second came in the Primonetta.

“The first one she won it’s was all speed, so it set up perfect for us. It was almost a gimme race,” Kreiser said. “The second one she just ran a great race. She likes the outside. You can see in her races, she’s just a different horse when she gets outside.”

The speed in the Alma North all figures to come from the inside. Cheetara (4-1) arrives off a solid score in the $75,000 Crestwood at Hawthorne Race Course and most often has been in front in her races. Fille d’Esprit (5-2) cruised in the Susquehanna Valley, and the Great Notion mare, once a $10,000 claimer, enters with two stakes wins and two runner-up efforts from her last four.

And morning line favorite Chub Wagon (7-5), 11-for-12 in her fabulous career, scored in the five-furlong, off-the-turf Power by Far last time in her seasonal bow. All three figure to be engaged early in the Alma North.

In all Kaylasaurus has won eight of 24 career starts and earned $330,683.

She’s also leading the MATCH Series with 15 total points, based on a win and a second from the first two races. The Alma North is the third contest in the filly-and-mare sprinting division.

Kaylasaurus won the Willa On the Move Stakes. Photo Jim McCue.