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Brigand Wins City Of Laurel Stakes For Baffert
LAUREL, MD. 12-08-12---This afternoon Bob Baffert sent a runner to Laurel Park for the first time in his career and his colt Brigand returned the favor with a front-running victory in the $104,000 City of Laurel Stakes.
Five 3-year-olds lined up for the seven-furlong City of Laurel. Brigand pushed to the front within a few strides of the start and raced comfortably on the lead down the backstretch under jockey Abel Castellano. Service for Ten, Bellefire and Javerre took up the chase, but at the end Brigand separated from the rest to win by a length, with Bellefire rallying to take second.
“The instructions were to break good, not hustle too much and let him do his own thing,” Castellano said. “We were pressured the whole backside but he relaxed. When we got to the half mile pole he changed the lead, he got relaxed and comfortable, he was going good and I knew I was going to have the horse left. That is a nice horse.”
Brigand, a son of Flatter who had placed in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G3), the Jerome (G2) and the Mike Lee Stakes, was winning for the fourth time in twelve outings. The win boosted his career earnings to $288,820.
Baffert, who has saddled five Preakness Stakes (G1) winners during his Hall of Fame career had never started a runner at Laurel Park before today. This was his 10,376th starter.
“Bob chose this spot,” said owner Kaleem Shah, who lives in nearby Vienna, VA. “He told me this was a good spot. He thought he would win and that was good enough for me.”
The New York-bred covered the distance in 1:23.08 and paid $5.60 as the second betting choice.
About Laurel Park
Laurel Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.