Graded Winners Among 109 Nominees to Laurel Stakes

Graded Winners Among 109 Nominees to Laurel Stakes

Five Stakes Worth $400,000 in Purses on Sunday, July 14 Program

LAUREL, MD – Grade 1 winners Mind Control and Knicks Go; fellow graded-stakes winners Late Night Pow Wow, Ms Locust Point, Call Paul, Lexitonian and Honey Bunny; and defending champions Sonny Inspired and Rocky Policy are among 109 nominations to the Sunday, July 14 stakes program at Laurel Park.

Three of five stakes worth $400,000 in purses are scheduled to be contested over Laurel’s world-class turf course, led by the $100,000 Stormy Blues for 3-year-old fillies, a 5 ½-furlong grass sprint.

Prominent among 25 nominees for the Stormy Blues are A Bit of Both, riding a four-race win streak, the last two in stakes, the most recent in her turf debut for trainer Jason Servis; and stakes winners Midnight Fantasy, fourth in the Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course; Change of Control and Summering.

Also on the July 14 card are the $75,000 Concern for 3-year-olds and $75,000 Twixt for fillies and mares 3 and up, both at seven furlongs, and a pair of $75,000 events for Maryland-bred/sired horses sprinting 5 ½ furlongs on the turf, the Ben’s Cat for 3-year-olds and up and Jameela for females 3 and older.

The Concern’s 25 nominations include Hopeful (G1) and Bay Shore (G3) winner Mind Control, most recently eighth in the Woody Stephens (G1) June 8; Maryland-bred Knicks Go, winless in six starts since taking the 2018 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) last fall; Lexitonian, a rallying head winner of the Chick Lang (G3) May 18 at Pimlico; 2019 Swale (G3) winner Call Paul; 2018 Maryland Million Nursery winner Follow the Dog; Gnarly Mo, an impressive maiden winner June 2 at Laurel; and Runnymede Racing’s multiple stakes winner Alwaysmining, also under consideration for the July 13 Indiana Derby.

Charles Town-based Late Night Pow Wow heads 24 nominees to the Twixt. The 4-year-old filly extended her win streak to nine races in the Barbara Fritchie (G3) Feb. 16 at Laurel, her second career graded triumph following the 2018 Charles Town Oaks (G3). The streak ended last out when she ran third in the seven-furlong Madison (G1) April 6 at Keeneland, her lowest finish in 13 lifetime starts, 11 of them wins.

Other Twixt nominees include 2019 Winning Colors (G3) winner Honey Bunny; 2018 Barbara Fritchie winner Ms Locust Point; multiple stakes winners Anna’s Bandit, Bronx Beauty, Crabcakes, Please Flatter Me and Shimmering Aspen; Grade 3-placed Classy Act and stakes winners Alter Moon, Cairenn, Victory Rally and Yorkiepoo Princess.

D Hatman Thoroughbreds’ Sonny Inspired captured last year’s Ben’s Cat by less than a length over Grandiflora, and both return among 18 nominations for 2019. They are joined by horses such as Dirty, who set a 5 ½-furlong track record winning the King T. Leatherbury Stakes April 20 at Laurel; multiple stakes winners Laki, twice Grade 3-placed, and Struth, claimed last out by trainer Lacey Gaudet; and two-time Maryland Million Turf winner Phlash Phelps, scratched from a July 4 optional claiming allowance that was rained off the Laurel grass.

Rocky Policy streaked to a front-running, one-length victory over Crabcakes in the 2018 Jameela, and both horses are nominated again this year, along with Anna’s Bandit and stakes winners Enchanted Ghost and Monte Crista.