Firenze Feeling Romps In Nellie Morse Stakes

Firenze Feeling Romps In Nellie Morse Stakes

LAUREL, MD. 01-04-14---Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC, Elkstone Group & David A. Ross’ Firenze Feeling saved ground to the far turn, angled outside and caught the frontrunner and then drew away to win the $100,000 Nellie Morse Stakes, the third of four stakes races at Laurel Park today.

Firenze Feeling is a lightly raced daughter of Macho Uno. She was making her first start since January 19, 2013 and her first for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. Apprentice Victor Carrasco was winning the first stakes of his budding career.

“Rudy told me to wait on her and to find room when I was ready,” Carrasco said. “When I found the room I got her to run and she was strong. We clipped heels on the first turn but when I got her to relax and she got some dirt kicked on her she was fine.”

Carrasco led all apprentice riders in victories (215) and earnings ($4.3 million) last year. Since November 13, he has ridden at least one winner in 27 of the 31 live racing days at Laurel Park, including 18 multiple win afternoons.

“Rudy has really helped me by letting me ride his stakes horse as a bug rider,” added Carrasco, who will find out Wednesday if he is a finalist for the Eclipse Award for top apprentice jockey in North America. “Rudy has really been great to me.”

Firenze Feeling completed the 1-1/16th mile distance in 1:48.69, winning by 4-3/4 lengths and paying $5.80 as the second betting choice. Pacesetter Celtic Katie finished second, while Access To Charlie was third.

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.