Carmelina looks to carry form to grass in Selima

Cash is King and LC Racing’s Carmelina, who became a stakes winner on dirt in her last start, will look to transfer that success to the turf when she returns from a short freshening in Saturday’s $150,000 Selima at Laurel Park.

The 94th running of the Selima for 2-year-old fillies and 97th renewal of the $150,000 Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds, both scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the grass, co-headline an 11-race program featuring four stakes worth $500,000 in purses on opening weekend of the calendar year-ending fall meet.

Also on the card are the $100,000 Japan Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up scheduled for 1 ½ miles on the grass and the $100,000 Twixt for fillies and mares 3 and older going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

First race post time is 12:25 p.m.

Out of the Virginia-bred St Averil mare Complete St., who won the 1 1/16-mile Brookmeade in 2015 and was runner-up in the 1 1/8-mile Maryland Million Ladies in 2016 on the Laurel turf, Carmelina will be racing at her fourth different racetrack in as many starts and her first since a rallying half-length triumph in the five-furlong Keswick Aug. 5 at Colonial Downs.

Prior to that, the Maximus Mischief filly ran fifth after setting the pace in the six-furlong Schuylerville (G3) July 13 at Saratoga following a 5 ¾-length debut victory going 4 ½ furlongs June 18 at her home track of Parx.

“She came out of her last race great,” trainer Robert E. ‘Butch’ Reid Jr. said. “We asked a lot of her early in her career. We had three races kind of back-to-back to back, and her last one was the best one yet. We pushed her hard and shipped her from Saratoga down to Colonial so we wanted to give her a nice break between these last two and we got that accomplished. She breezed great the other day and she’s coming into it in great shape.”

Carmelina was bred in Pennsylvania by Lillith Boucher, who trained Complete St. Racing for the first time beyond six furlongs, she drew Post 8 in a field of 10 and will be ridden by Abner Adorno.

“We’ve got a couple questions [about] the turf and the two turns. I don’t think the two turns will be a problem, and her mother was absolutely a grass horse so that’s why we decided to give it a shot this early on,” Reid said. “It’ll help us as far as what we’re going to think about for next year and what we’ve got left here the remainder of this year. We wanted to get this out of the way early, just to see where we stand.”