Post Time headlines tough renewal of the Jennings

Hillwood Stable’s Post Time, beaten just once in six starts and undefeated on his home track, is one of five multiple stakes winners among a field of eight in a competitive edition of Saturday’s $75,000 Jennings at Laurel Park.

The 80th running of the Jennings for 4-year-olds and up and 51st renewal of the $75,000 Geisha for fillies and mares 4 and older, both contested at one mile and restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses, are the first two of four stakes worth $350,000 in purses on a 10-race program that begins with a special noon post time.

Post Time has not raced since a determined head victory over seasoned stakes winner Ninetyprcentmaddie in the seven-furlong City of Laurel on Thanksgiving weekend. The effort improved the 4-year-old Frosted colt to 4-0 at Laurel and was a solid rebound off his first career loss when third by just over a length behind Grade 3 winner Raise Cain in the Perryville at Keeneland.

“He’s doing good,” trainer Brittany Russell said. “We’re excited to try him a mile. It’s a salty little spot. He’s going to have to have his running shoes on. But he’s been training good, and I think he’ll be up to the challenge.”

Post Time was named Maryland’s champion 2-year-old after going undefeated in three 2022 starts including the Maryland Juvenile. He got a belated start to 2023, debuting with a win over his elders in September at Pimlico Race Course before taking his act on the road for the Perryville.

“Emma [Wolfe] gets on him up at Fair Hill and she does a fantastic job with him. He has his days when he’s a total handful but at the end of the day when he puts his head down to train, he’s all class,” Russell said. “He’s always going to be a horse that we have to worry about his quirks, but he runs. “I don’t know what he’s going to think about 25 degrees and possible wind chill. He might be a little fresh with that weather, but he’s doing really good,” she added. “He went on the road to Keeneland and handled that pretty well. He’s pretty good at Laurel. I do think that on race day he’s a bit better now.”


Post Time drew outermost Post 8 with Sheldon Russell up for the fourth straight race. He is the 9-5 favorite on the morning line.

The Cottonwood Stable’s homebred Seven’s Eleven has won two straight and four of five, all at Laurel, including victories in the Maryland Million Sprint and Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial to cap his 2023 season. The 4-year-old Bandbox gelding beat older horses by 4 ¾ lengths last out in an optional claiming allowance Dec. 22 going the one-turn mile.

Post Time
Post Time won an allowance at PImlico. Photo by Jim McCue.

“He is doing so good. He’s galloping strong and he worked good the other day,” trainer Carlos Mancilla said. “He feels good. I think it’s going to be a tough race, but he’s going to be tough, too.”

Seven’s Eleven is 2-1, and regular rider Angel Cruz will be up from Post 5.

Built Wright Stables’ Grade 3 winner Double Crown has won nine of 44 starts and $838,185 in purses, most recently capturing the 1 1/16-mile Robert T. Manfuso by a nose Dec. 23 at Laurel, seven days after running sixth in an Oaklawn Park stake. Runner-up to Seven’s Eleven in the Bender, the 7-year-old also won the 1 1/16-mile Polynesian last fall at Pimlico.

Double Crown, a seven-year-old Bourbon Courage gelding, registered his signature triumph in the 2022 edition of the Grade 2 Kelso at Aqueduct, which he won at odds of 42-1. The Raymond Ginter trainee is 3-1 on the morning line and will have Jeiron Barbosa in the irons.

The Jennings honors William Jennings Sr., one of Maryland’s greatest horsemen whose Glengar Farm was located six miles from historic Pimlico Race Course. Jennings bred, owned and trained 1887 Preakness winner Dunboyne. His grandson, Henry S. Clark, followed in his footsteps and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1982.

One race prior to the Jennings, state-bred fillies and mares will tackle the one-mile Geisha. In a wide-open but lightly accomplished field, Brittany Russell will send out the morning line favorite in the form of Northern Glow (7-2), Owned by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds, Northern Glow has won two of seven career starts and was second in allowance company last out.

Sheldon Russell will ride.