Age No Object for Greeley And Ben; 9-year-old wins $100,000 Dave’s Friend Stakes

Age No Object for Greeley And Ben; 9-year-old wins $100,000 Dave’s Friend Stakes

Loves Donuts and Hot Dogs
Double Crown Springs Upset, Wins by Nose in $100,000 Robert T. Manfuso

LAUREL, MD - What is true of some fine wines is also proving true of Greeley and Ben. Darryl Abramowitz’s 9-year-old gelding keeps getting better with age, recording his 25th career win Saturday at Laurel Park with a come-from-behind victory in the $100,000 Dave’s Friend Stakes.

“He’s just a wonderful horse, a horse that every owner would love to have, and he’s a dream come true,” Abramowitz said after Greeley and Ben rallied from behind to win the six-furlong stakes by a half-length over Dollarization.

Abramowitz claimed Greeley and Ben for $40,000 in September 2022, at Saratoga, and the gelding has rewarded him with four wins in seven starts for the current owner.

“For the 40 at Saratoga, I said I’ll take a shot,” Abramowitz said. “That’s what this game’s about. It’s about dreams, and the dream came true.”

Cowan took the lead briefly in mid-stretch before a wild scramble ensued involving several horses. But Greeley and Ben, with jockey Jevian Toledo in the irons, swept past the leaders in late stretch to pull off the victory, his 25th in 42 lifetime starts, finishing in a time of 1:10.93. Greeley and Ben ($13.60) is trained by Horacio De Paz.

“I expected him to be more forwardly placed,” Abramowitz said of the gelding, who was last in the field of 10 for part of the race. “And when I saw him in the back, my heart started beating. But when I saw him coming on, I said this horse is gutsy. He knows how to find the wire. He always seems to find the wire. And he was coming, and he made it again.”

Dollarization settled for second, a head in front of No Cents.

Abramowitz said he plans to continue racing the gelding as a 10-year-old.

“This horse loves donuts and hot dogs,” he said. “He makes everybody happy. He makes the whole barn happy. I’m going to be on cloud nine for another week after this.”

Double Crown Springs Upset, Wins by a Nose in $100,000 Robert T. Manfuso

Built Wright Stables’ Double Crown sprung a mild upset in the $100,000 Robert T. Manfuso Stakes, not only corralling race favorite Offaly Cool toward the top of the stretch, but outdueling him to the wire to prevail by a nose in the 1 1/16-mile stakes.

Sent off at odds of 10-1, Double Crown ($22.20), sat just behind Offaly Cool while saving ground along the rail in the early going under jockey Jeiron Barbosa, angled to the outside at the top of the stretch, and turned in a determined run to the wire to barely overtake the favorite. It was 2 ½ lengths further back to third-place finisher Magic Michael.

With Offaly Cool coasting through early fractions of 24.45, 49.12 and 1:13.99, Double Crown maintained close position before mounting his winning charge. Final time was 1:44.65.

Trained by Raymond Ginter Jr., the 6-year-old Maryland-bred son of Bourbon Courage notched his ninth win in 44 lifetime starts.

Saddle Up Jessie Wins Going Away in $100,000 Carousel Stakes

Michael J. Ryan’s Saddle Up Jessie recorded her first stakes victory in the $100,000 Carousel Stakes, and made it look easy, winning by 4 ¾ lengths.

The 4-year-old filly, forwardly placed behind frontrunning Peyton Elizabeth in the 1 1/8-mile stakes for fillies and mares, took command at the top of the stretch and pulled away for a convincing victory under jockey Jevian Toledo. Hybrid Eclipse was a distant second, 4 ½-lengths in front of Lady Brew.

Trained by Brittany Russell, Saddle Up Jessie ($4.20) has won four of her six races since being claimed in January at Santa Anita for $20,000.

The daughter of More Than Ready was making her first start in stakes company on Saturday, facing a field of five rivals, and sat behind early fractions of 25.99 and 50.98 before drawing off in a winning time of 1:53.76.

Headland Comes Out on Top in $100,000 Willa On The Move

Thomas Brockley’s battle-seasoned Headland prevailed in a frontrunning duel with Dream Chaser in the Willa On The Move Stakes before drawing off for a 1 ½-length victory in the 6 ½-furlong test for fillies and mares.

The 7-year-old mare was claimed three times in 2023, with the most recent of those coming in August for $62,500.

Ridden by jockey Angel Cruz for trainer George Weaver, Headland ($4.80) found herself in a frontrunning battle with Dream Chaser along the backstretch, with opening fractions of 22.73 and 46.70, before taking charge in the lane to register her 11th victory in 44 lifetime starts. She finished the race in 1:18.46.

Apple Picker, the even-money favorite, finished second. Dream Chaser, who crossed third under the wire, was disqualified to fourth for causing interference in the upper stretch with Moody Woman, who was placed third.

Headland, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Paynter, was making her 11th start of the year, but just the first of her career at Laurel.