Laurel Park postpones Monday stakes card
Out of an abundance of caution, as a result of Winter Storm Elliott expected to bring gusty winds, arctic cold and threats of flash freezing to the Mid-Atlantic over the weekend, the Maryland Jockey Club has postponed its Christmastide Stakes Day program.
Originally carded for Monday, Dec. 26, the entire 11-race program has been moved to Friday, Dec. 30. Live racing is scheduled to resume Thursday, Dec. 29 with the 48-day fall meet finale set for Saturday, Dec. 31.
“Due to the weather conditions expected throughout the weekend, we decided to cancel our Monday program early and accommodate our fans as well as the horsemen and horsewomen who will be participating in this exceptional day of racing,” said Mike Rogers, Acting President of the Maryland Jockey Club.
Christmastide Stakes Day will feature six $100,000 stakes – the Heft for 2-year-olds and Gin Talking for 2-year-old fillies, both sprinting seven furlongs; 6 ½-furlong Willa On the Move and 1 1/8-mile Carousel for fillies and mares 3 and older; and six-furlong Dave’s Friend and Robert T. Manfuso at about 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds and up.
Prince of Jericho, a winner of his last two races by 17 combined lengths, is the 8-5 program favorite in the Heft (Race 4). Malibu Moonshine, unbeaten in two starts including the Maryland Juvenile Fillies Dec. 3 at Laurel, returns as a top contender in the Gin Talking (Race 5).
Fille d’Esprit will be favored to run her win streak to three with a sixth career stakes victory in the Willa On the Move (Race 7). Hybrid Eclipse, already a two-time stakes winner at Laurel this year, aims for a third for meet-leading trainer Brittany Russell in the Carousel (Race 9).
Grade 3 winner Jaxon Traveler will face defending champion Threes Over Deuces in the Dave’s Friend (Race 8). Seven stakes winners are entered in an overflow field of 12 for the Manfuso (Race 10) including graded-stakes winners Cordmaker and Ridin With Biden as well as Armando R and Ournationonparade.
Post time for the Dec. 30 program will be 11:25 a.m.