Jock Sheldon Russell named on one Friday

Journeyman rider Sheldon Russell is named on one horse, Ellie Victorina, in Friday’s fifth race, a maiden claimer for 2-year-old fillies sprinting 5 ½ furlongs. The daughter of Grade 1 winner Army Mule is trained by Russell’s wife, fall meet leader Brittany Russell.

Sheldon Russell has not ridden since being unseated when his mount, 3-year-old filly Raise Your Game, stumbled badly one jump out of the gate of Race 6 Nov. 20. The 35-year-old seven-time meet champion and 2011 overall leading rider in Maryland got back on horses for the first time Tuesday morning.

“I have some hardware in the shoulder from a previous injury, so I just took a couple days off,” Russell said. “I’m just going to take it day by day and make sure everything’s good before I get back to riding. I’m on a horse Friday so I’m really just trying to take it day by day. I’ll get on a couple more and maybe breeze a few just to make sure everything’s good.”

A seven-time meet-leading jockey in Maryland who was the state’s overall champion in 2011, the 34-year-old Russell was shaken up when Raise Your Game, a 3-year-old filly trained by Mike Gorham, stumbled badly one jump out of the starting gate for the six-furlong claiming event and caused Russell to lose his balance. Raise Your Game was walked off the course without incident.

Russell’s career has been beset by injuries, but when healthy, he has consistently been among the top Maryland riders. His mounts have earned more than $44 million and won five graded stakes.

A winner of 1,544 career races, Russell went 296 days between races following surgery and rehabilitation for a right foot injury before winning in his July 1 return at Laurel.

John Middleton’s Ellie Victorina, making her fourth career start, is favored at 3-1 on the morning line from Post 9 in a field of 10.