Abiding Star May Get Chance to Shine in BWI Turf Cup Sept. 21

Abiding Star May Get Chance to Shine in BWI Turf Cup Sept. 21

Impressive Maiden Winner Me and Mr. C Possible for Laurel Futurity
Clubman on Track for Third Straight Trip to Maryland Million Classic
Maryland Million Nursery Under Consideration for D C Fireman
September to Remember Stakes Festival I Nominations Close Sept. 12
Link: Stronach 5 All Star Ticket

LAUREL, MD – Stonehedge LLC’s graded-stakes placed homebred Abiding Star exited a gutsy win in the Neshaminy Stakes Monday at Parx well enough that trainer Ned Allard is considering bringing the 6-year-old gelding back in the $200,000 Baltimore-Washington International Turf  Cup (G3) Saturday, Sept. 21 at Laurel Park.

The one-mile BWI Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up on Laurel’s world-class turf course is among eight stakes scheduled on Part I of the September to Remember Stakes Festival, highlighted by the $250,000 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3).

Abiding Star ran fifth behind 26-1 long shot Doctor Mounty after setting the pace over a yielding course in last year’s BWI Turf Cup.

“There’s a possibility I might come back with Abiding Star,” Allard said. “He is a nice horse. He’s won 12 races and is very close to $600,000 in earnings and he’s still very sound and happy. In fact, I think he’s a little better this year than he was last year.”

Abiding Star has finished first or second in six of eight races this year, winning claiming events at Gulfstream Park and Belmont Park and grinding out a front-running neck decision as the favorite in the Neshaminy, run at 7 ½ furlongs over Parx’s turf course.

By Uncle Mo out of the Dynaformer mare Abiding, Abiding Star owns 12 wins and $564,940 in purse earnings from 40 career starts. He won the Private Terms at Laurel and the Parx Derby as a 3-year-old in 2016, earning him a shot at the Preakness Stakes (G1), where he finished last of 11. Last fall he was second, beaten 1 ½ lengths, in the one-mile Red Bank (G3) on the Monmouth Park turf.

“The mile suits him very well. He was very gutsy in his last race, very game. That might be a little different group of horses, but I think he can be very dangerous on a given day, so we’re definitely going to take a look at it,” Allard said. “I’ve always had good luck in Maryland over the years, and I love it there.”

Allard may have a second runner on Laurel’s Sept. 21 program in Me and Mr. C, an impressive debut winner Wednesday at Delaware Park who is targeting the $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

A half-brother to Abiding Star also bred and owned by Gilbert Campbell’s Stonehedge, Me and Mr. C ran 7 ½ furlongs over the Delaware turf in 1:31.35 to capture the maiden special weight by two lengths.

“He did that very easily yesterday so I’m going to consider the Futurity, because how many 2-year-olds really want to go long on the turf or, at least, how many are established, as yet?” Allard said. “He beat kind of a useful field and did it kind of handily. He was ready to run, we ran him and he ran super. Whether he comes back in the Futurity or not I’m not sure, but we’re sure going to think about that spot.”

Allard said 2016 Maryland Sprint (G3) winner Always Sunshine, eighth in last year’s De Francis Dash, suffered a foot injury training this week. A winner of 10 of 30 races, the most recent coming Aug. 3 in the Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial at Mountaineer Park, and $629,600 in purse earnings, he breezed five furlongs from the gate in 59.80 seconds Aug. 24 at Delaware.

“He went a very easy half and galloped out five-eighths in 59 and four, [and was] doing super,” Allard said. “But, he bruised his foot and he bruised it pretty badly, so he’s going to be out for a little while.”

Clubman on Track for Third Straight Trip to Maryland Million Classic

Caonabo Stable’s Clubman, a two-time stakes winner this year, is being pointed toward a third straight trip to the Jim McKay Maryland Million Saturday, Oct. 19 at Laurel Park.

Based at Laurel with trainer Rodolpho Sanchez-Salomon, Clubman is a gelded 5-year-old son of Not For Love, the event’s all-time leading stallion with 36 victories in the Maryland Million, entering its 34th year.

“I’m going to run him at Delaware and after that I’m going to run him in the Maryland Million. That’s the plan,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “We’ve got to go little by little, step by step, but that’s our plan right now. We hope he runs again in the Classic.”

Clubman was third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths, in last year’s 1 1/8-mile Classic, at $150,000 the richest stakes on the Maryland Million program, for previous trainer Jonathan Maldonado. Also fourth in the 2017 Classic, Clubman has four wins and a second in 11 starts since joining Sanchez-Salomon last November.

“He’s very, very nice,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “When he first came in, he was a little bit lost in his mind, but we took good care of him and treated him really good, and little by little he settled down and he does pretty much everything on his own now.

“My girlfriend gallops him, and in the beginning, the first couple of weeks that I had him, all he wanted to do was go, go, go and run around. He didn’t want to train on the track,” he added. “Now, he stands on the track, watches horses train for a couple minutes, and then goes about his business.”

Overall, Clubman has nine wins and $385,577 in purse earnings from 32 lifetime starts dating back to his January 2017 debut at Laurel. Last year’s Classic was the best stakes finish for Clubman before winning the seven-furlong Russell Road April 20 at Charles Town.

Seventh behind Tenfold in the Pimlico Special (G3) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course and second by a half-length to Cordmaker in the Polynesian Stakes June 16 at Laurel, Clubman was most recently a 9 ½-length winner of the Maryland Coalition Stakes run at about 6 ½ furlongs Aug. 24 at Timonium.

“He came out of the race very well. We got very lucky, very blessed, when the two favorites who had a lot of speed scratched out of the race. We ended up being the favorite and he ran a big race,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “He is doing very, very good. He’s a pretty nice horse. He’s been really, really nice to me and to the owners.”

Maryland Million Nursery Under Consideration for D C Fireman

Following a professional half-length victory in his unveiling Monday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, D C Fireman may step up to stakes company for his next start.

Trainer Claudio Gonzalez said the Maryland-bred son of multiple graded-stakes winner Friesan Fire could come back in the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery for 2-year-olds going six furlongs Saturday, Oct. 19.

Under meet-leading rider Kevin Gomez, D C Fireman was pressed early in the four-furlong maiden special weight sprint before shaking loose at the top of the stretch and holding firm for the debut victory in 46.74 seconds.

“He came back really good. We’re going to point for that race,” Gonzalez said. “If he continues like this, I believe we’re going to run in that.”

D C Fireman was bred by William Bayne and is co-owned by Bayne and Super C Racing. Friesan Fire picked up his first Maryland Million winner when Saratoga Bob captured last year’s $150,000 Classic.

Gonzalez, coming off his 10th career training title at Laurel’s summer stand, won twice on last year’s Maryland Million program including My Star Potential in the Lassie for 2-year-old fillies.

Link: Stronach 5 All Star Ticket

With the resumption of live racing at Laurel Park following the two-week Maryland State Fair meet, the $1 Stronach 5 returns to the wagering menu with the opening day program Friday, Sept. 6.

Stronach 5 All Star Ticket video: click here to view

The Stronach 5, offering a $100,000 pool guarantee and an industry-low 12 percent takeout, will feature races from Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park and Golden Gate Fields, starting with Laurel’s Race 8, a six-furlong main track sprint for Maryland-bred/sired 3-year-olds and up.

The remaining four races in the sequence are all scheduled for the grass, starting with Gulfstream’s Race 7. The action moves to California for Golden Gate’s Race 4, then returns to Laurel for its Race 9 finale before wrapping up in South Florida with Gulfstream’s Race 9.

The minimum bet for the Stronach 5 is $1 through Laurel Park’s mutuel pool.

September to Remember Stakes Festival I Nominations Close Sept. 12

Nominations close Thursday, Sept. 12 for Part I of Laurel Park’s September to Remember Stakes Festival to be held Saturday, Sept. 21.

A total of eight stakes worth $1.3 million in purses are on tap Sept. 21, led by the $250,000 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs on the main track, and $200,000 Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) for 3-year-olds and up at a mile on Laurel’s world-class turf course. Nominations to all eight stakes are free.

Supporting the graded events Sept. 21 are the $100,000 Weathervane for 3-year-old fillies on dirt, and five turf stakes – the $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Laurel Futurity and $200,000 Selima for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; $150,000 Bald Eagle Derby presented by B&B Commercial Interiors for 3-year-olds at 1 ½ miles; and $100,000 Laurel Dash presented by Fidelity First and Blackwell Real Estate and $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash, each at 5 ½ furlongs.

Nominations can be emailed to Maryland Jockey Club stakes coordinator Coley Blind at cblind@marylandracing.com or by calling the racing office at 800-638-1859.

Part II of the September to Remember Stakes Festival will take place Saturday, Sept. 28 at Laurel, featuring six stakes worth $600,000 in purses led by the $150,000 All Along for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.