Laurel Park returns with later post time
Post time moves from 12:05 to 12:25 p.m. for the remainder of the calendar year-ending fall meet when live racing resumes Friday at Laurel Park.
Friday’s nine-race program includes a six-furlong maiden special weight for horses aged 3, 4 and 5 led by 4-5 program favorite Celtic Cousen. Trained by Hamilton Smith for Lewis Family Racing Stable, the gelded sophomore son of 2013 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Palace Malice was second in his lone start, a similar spot going seven furlongs Nov. 20 at Laurel.
Jaime Rodriguez, aboard for his debut, rides Celtic Cousen from outermost Post 7. Stronach Stable Inc.’s Flavian is a homebred son of 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah that has one second from four previous starts.
Race 7 is a 5 ½-furlong claiming event for fillies and mares 3 and up that drew a field of seven in for the $40,000 tag. Among them are Runup, winner of the 2021 Sorority at Monmouth Park that has placed in three starts this year exiting the Alcibiades (G1) last fall at Keeneland; Feb. 19 Wide Country runner-up She Is Wisky, most recently fifth in the June 19 All Brandy against Maryland-bred/sired horses; and Sparkle Sprinkle, third in the 2021 Maryland Million Lassie.
The feature comes in Race 8, an open entry-level allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up sprinting six furlongs. Top choice on the morning line at 9-5 is Francis Poggi and Greycross Stable’s Wicked Hot, most recently sixth in the Maryland Million Distaff Oct. 22 at Laurel. The 4-year-old Mosler filly has finished in the money in six of her eight lifetime starts.
Gold Square and Paul Braverman’s Icy Stare Down, a daughter of Grade 1-winning multi-millionaire Frosted, will be making her first start for fall meet-leading trainer Brittany Russell after winning one of six races with Brad Cox. The 3-year-old Ontario-bred fetched $425,000 as a 2-year-old in training last April and returns to the main track after finishing off the board in back-to-back turf allowances against older horses.
Edwin Merrryman-owned and trained 4-year-old Winked enters the race having won two of her last three starts, most recently a restricted off-the-turf allowance sprinting 5 ½ furlongs Nov. 11 at Laurel. By Imagining, she has been worse than third just once in eight tries.
Stakes winners Threes Over Deuces, Karan’s Notion, Indian Lake, Golden Candy and Exculpatory are among the field of six for Saturday’s feature, a third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up sprinting 5 ½ furlongs. A Delaperriere Stables’ Golden Candy, who captured the 2019 First State Dash as a 2-year-old, comes in having won two straight races at Penn National, both under Carol Cedeno, who gets the return call from Post 4.
Apprentice Jeiron Barbosa continues to lead the fall meet standings with 39 wins and $1,466,647 in purse earnings from 217 mounts. Angel Cruz is second with 32 wins and $1,338,728 from 219 mounts.
Brittany Russell holds a 23-16 lead over Damon Dilodovico in the trainer standings. Russell, already a two-time meet champion this year, is also tops with $1,077,580 in purses earned.
In addition to nine live races, Laurel Park will serve up Breakfast with Santa from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Located on the second-floor clubhouse, Breakfast with Santa will feature a breakfast buffet, hot chocolate bar, kiddie canvas painting and holiday mimosa and Bloody Mary bar.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $13 for children 6-12. Children 5 and under eat for free.For tickets or more information, visit www.laurelpark.com/breakfast-santa/