General George, Barbara Fritchie Headline Feb. 17 Winter Carnival
Maryland Juvenile Stakes Dec. 2 Attract 48 Nominations
LAUREL, MD – Highlighted by a Winter Carnival program featuring the Barbara Fritchie (G3) and General George (G3) for older sprinters, as well as the start of Maryland’s series for 3-year-olds leading up to the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), Laurel Park will offer 17 stakes worth $1.8 million in purses during its 2024 winter meet.
The 38-day winter stand begins Friday Jan. 5 and runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Saturday, March 30, with a 12:25 p.m. post time. There will be no live racing on Easter Sunday, March 31.
Stakes action begins Saturday, Jan. 20 with the $100,000 Fire Plug for 4-year-olds and up going 6 ½ furlongs and $100,000 What a Summer for fillies and mares 4 and older at six furlongs. Also on the program are a pair of $75,000 events restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses, the Jennings for 4-year-olds and up and Geisha for females 4 and older, both at one mile.
The $100,000 Spectacular Bid sprinting seven furlongs Saturday, Jan. 27 kicks off Maryland’s series of stakes for 3-year-olds on the road to the Preakness, Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, at historic Pimlico Race Course. It is joined by the $100,000 Xtra Heat at six furlongs, the first local prep for 3-year-old fillies en route to the 100th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) on Preakness eve.
Winter Carnival is set for Saturday, Feb. 17 led by the 70th running of the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie for fillies and mares 4 and up and 49th edition of the $200,000 General George for 4-year-olds and up, both sprinting seven furlongs. Older horses will go 1 1/8 miles in the $100,000 John B. Campbell and 1 1/16 miles in the $100,000 Nellie Morse, the latter for females.
Maryland’s second series of races for sophomores comes Saturday, Feb. 24 with the $100,000 Miracle Wood going one mile and $100,000 Wide Country for fillies sprinting seven furlongs.
Saturday, March 16 offers the $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial for 4-year-olds and up at one mile, and a pair of $75,000 sprints restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses – the six-furlong Not For Love for 4-year-olds and up and seven-furlong Conniver for fillies and mares 4 and older.
The winter meet stakes schedule wraps up Saturday, March 23 with the $100,000 Private Terms for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles and the $100,000 Beyond the Wire for 3-year-old fillies.
Maryland Juvenile Stakes Dec. 2 Attract 48 Nominees
Catahoula Moon and Prado Road, respectively 1-2 in the Maryland Million Distaff last month, and multiple stakes placed Call Me Andy top 28 2-year-olds nominated to the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Saturday, Dec. 2 at Laurel Park.
The Juvenile and $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly, both for Maryland-bred/sired horses, are contested at seven furlongs.
Making his fifth start and first in a stakes, Super C Racing, Inc.’s Catahoula Moon came from off the pace to win the six-furlong Nursery by 4 ¾ lengths, then finished a troubled fifth in the James F. Lewis III Nov. 11. Karmac Stable’s homebred Prado Road has run second in each of his two races, the Oct. 14 Nursery being his stakes debut.
Andrew Farm, Mountmellick Farm, Ocean Reef Racing, White Mountain Stables and Stonecrest Farm’s Call Me Andy won in debut June 1 at Churchill Downs and followed up with successive thirds in the six-furlong Bashford Manor and seven-furlong Ellis Park Juvenile over the summer.
Last out winners All the Way, Hittheroadjak, Little Lance, Mister Agent, Paco the Taco Man, Speedyness and War Master, and Great Opportunity, an unstarted $160,000 Connect yearling owned by Mike Repole and trained by Brittany Russell, are also among the nominees.
The second, third and fourth-place horses from the six-furlong Maryland Million Lassie Oct. 14 at Laurel – Sheilahs War Cloud, Kissedbyanangel and Lucky Cougar – are prominent among 20 nominees to the Juvenile Filly. Neither Sheilahs War Cloud, co-bred, owned and trained by Justin Nixon, nor Jason DaCosta and Calypso Stable’s Lucky Cougar have raced since the Lassie.
Joanne Shankle-owned and trained Kissedbyanangel, meanwhile, returned to be second in a six-furlong optional claiming allowance two weeks later and captured a similar condition going one mile Nov. 17.
Other nominees include Phil Schoenthal-trained Determined Sail, third in the 1 1/16-mile Kitten’s Joy on the Colonial Downs turf Sept. 9, and Timonium Juvenile runner-up Determined Driver; and Binnie, a professional debut winner Nov. 2 at Laurel.