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Champion Luna Belle Nominated to $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go
Multiple Stakes Winner Poised for Second Start Off 513-Day Layoff
$100K James F. Lewis, $100K Smart Halo for 2YOs Share Nov. 11 Card
Russells Team Up for Two Impressive Winners on Thursday Program
LAUREL, MD – Multiple stakes winner and two-time Maryland champion filly Luna Belle, third in her return from a 513-day gap between races last month, and defending champion Hybrid Eclipse top 17 nominees to the $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go Saturday, Nov. 11 at Laurel Park.
The 1 1/16-mile Thirty Eight Go Go for fillies and mares 3 and up co-headlines the Veterans Day program with a pair of juvenile stakes, the $100,000 Smart Halo for fillies and $100,000 James F. Lewis III, both sprinting six furlongs.
Luna Belle had not raced since last May when she finished a closing third in the seven-furlong Maryland Million Distaff Oct. 14 at Laurel, beaten 4 ¼ lengths by Intrepid Daydream. Owned by Deborah Greene and trainer Hamilton Smith and bred by Smith, Greene and her late father, Fred Greene Jr., Maryland’s champion 2-year-old filly of 2021 and 3-year-old filly of 2022 put together a five-stakes win streak snapped in the 2022 Black-Eyed Susan (G2).
Smith also nominated his and Greene’s I’m Gittin There, a 4-year-old filly that has been third or better in seven of 10 starts this year with three wins, most recently running second behind Maryland’s 2022 Horse of the Year Fille d’Esprit in a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance Sept. 29 at Laurel.
Last year’s Thirty Eight Go Go saw The Elkstone Group’s Hybrid Eclipse lunge at the start and race near the back of the pack early before coming with a strong late run to win by three lengths. The 5-year-old mare, trained by Maryland’s overall win leader, Brittany Russell, is a four-time stakes winner including the one-mile Caesar’s Wish for a second straight year June 15 that most recently ran fourth to multiple graded-stakes winner Interstatedaydream in the Sept. 30 Twixt.
Trainer Gary Capuano nominated stablemates Intrepid Daydream and fellow multiple stake winner Malibu Beauty. Paul Fowler Jr.’s Intrepid Daydream has put together three straight wins including the Sept. 16 Shine Again at Pimlico, while ZWP Stable, Inc. and Non Stop Stable’s Malibu Beauty is an eight-time career winner seeking her first victory of 2023.
Also prominent among nominees are Milagrosa Surena, a Group 1 winner on turf and Group 2 winner on dirt in Argentina; stakes-winners Morning Matcha and Opus Forty Two, both graded-stakes placed; and 6-year-old Sweet Willemina, a 17-time career winner, two in stakes, currently on a three-race win streak.
Most popular among horsemen is the James F. Lewis with 26 nominees, 11 of them coming off wins led by Atlantic Six Racing’s Book’em Danno, undefeated in three starts with stakes victories in the Sept. 9 Smoke Glacken at Monmouth Park and Oct. 8 Futurity at Aqueduct, both going six furlongs.
Rose Petal Stable’s Copper Tax has won four consecutive races, all at Delaware Park, by a combined 23 lengths, capped by a front-running triumph in the Oct. 14 Rocky Run. The Copper Bullet colt has been favored in each of his five starts, beaten a neck when second in his June 10 unveiling, also at Delaware.
Super C Racing’s Catahoula Moon sat off an early duel before powering to a 4 ¾-length victory in the Maryland Million Nursery Oct. 14, his fifth start. Another local stakes winner is Built Wright Stables’ Sweet Soddy J, who captured the Timonium Juvenile Sept. 2 and exits a seventh in the Oct. 28 Bowman Mill at Keeneland.
Other nominees include Good Like Magic, winner of the Sept. 24 Kip Deville at Remington Park trained by two-time Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox; Knicks Storm, an impressive debut winner Oct. 18 at Keeneland for trainer Ben Colebrook; and Bowman Mill runner-up Normandy Hero.
Narrow Leaf Farm’s Miss Harriett leads 21 nominees to the Smart Halo off a 62-1 upset of the Maryland Million Lassie in her career debut for trainer Brandon McFarlane. Sheilahs War Cloud, second by a neck as the favorite, and third-place finisher Kissedbyanangel are also nominated.
Bird and Grady’s Low Mileage, winner of the Sept. 2 Jamestown at Colonial Downs and fifth in the Sept. 30 Selima at Laurel, is nominated to make her return to the dirt after back-to-back turf starts. Twin Oaks Bloodstock’s Miss Justify, a bay daughter of 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify, was a 3 ½-length debut winner at odds of 15-1 in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight Oct. 1 at Laurel.
Respect the Valleys’ Venomous Vixen was an eye-catching 11-length maiden special weight winner in her unveiling sprinting seven furlongs Oct. 26 at Laurel.
Entries will be taken and post positions drawn Sunday, Nov. 5 for all three Veterans Day stakes.
Notes: Jockey Sheldon Russell and his wife, Maryland’s leading trainer Brittany Russell, teamed up for a pair of winners Thursday – Murray ($6.80) in featured Race 6 and Binnie ($) in the Race 8 finale … Murray, a 4-year-old son of Street Sense that shares similar ownership as Preakness (G1) 148 winner National Treasure, powered past favored Seven’s Eleven at the top of the stretch and went on to capture the second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up in 1:10.67 for six furlongs over a fast main track. Grade 3-winning millionaire Eastern Bay was among four scratches … Morgans Ford Farm homebred Binnie ($5.20) swept past foes on the far outside through the stretch to win her debut, a 5 ½-furlong waiver maiden claimer for 2-year-old fillies, in 1:07.07. Scratched from a planned unveiling Oct. 13 after acting up in the starting gate, the daughter of Great Notion is a full sister to Crabcakes that is named for late horsewoman Elizabeth ‘Binnie’ Houghton, who bred and raced the retired multiple stakes winner … Mens Grille Racing’s Viennese Waltz ($13.20), younger half-sister to retired Mid-Atlantic fan favorite and multiple stakes winner Cordmaker, graduated in her fifth start in Race 3, a waiver maiden claimer for 2-year-old fillies. The winning time was 1:41.90 for one mile … There will be a carryover of $971.12 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 for Friday’s nine-race card at Laurel that begins at 12:25 p.m. In addition to live racing, Laurel is offering advance wagering on Saturday’s entire Breeders’ Cup program at Santa Anita. Doors open Friday at 11 a.m.