Circle P Becomes Stakes Winner in $100,000 Maryland Juvenile

Circle P Becomes Stakes Winner in $100,000 Maryland Juvenile

Kissedbyanangel Leads the Way in $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly

LAUREL, MD – DeSales 85 LLC’s Circle P, making his stakes debut, sat well off dueling leaders Catahoula Moon and Speedyness before coming with a late run to split the top two in deep stretch and go on to a 1 ¾-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Juvenile at Laurel Park.

The 42nd running of the Maryland Juvenile served as co-headliner with the 37th edition of the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly, both races for Maryland-bred/sired horses sprinting seven furlongs.

Ridden by Ricardo Chiappe for Penn National-based trainer Flint Stites, Circle P ($19.80) completed the distance in 1:24.49 over a fast main track for his second win from four starts, both coming at Laurel, including a 6 ½-length waiver maiden claiming triumph Oct. 15.

Catahoula Moon, winner of the Oct. 14 Maryland Million Nursery at Laurel racing on the inside, and Speedyness, sent off as the 6-5 favorite off back-to-back wins with the addition of blinkers, battled up front through a sharp quarter-mile in 22.95 seconds and a half in 45.66, with Call Me Andy a distant third.

Approaching the eighth pole, as Catahoula Moon began to gain separation from Speedyness, Chiappe was rolling on Circle P down the center of the track, splitting the two horses and surging to the front.

“The horse ran awesome. He’s still a little green. He doesn’t like the dirt in his face,” Chiappe said. “In the stretch I was thinking to go outside but the horse put himself inside and just came flying. He was very good today. He was so relaxed and he showed class.”

Catahoula Moon was second, four lengths in front of Speedyness. Call Me Andy, Hittheroadjak, Cap Com, King’s River and Mister Agent completed the order of finish. All the Way and Jumpingjaggerflash were scratched.

Circle P, purchased for $47,000 as a yearling last fall, was second in his Sept. 15 unveiling at Penn National, and following his graduation ran third in a seven-furlong optional claimer Oct. 29, also at Laurel.

“He had a really good first race and I thought he ran really well. His second race he broke a little slow and he got hit pretty hard out of he gate and got pushed way back, and doesn’t like the dirt [in his face]. We’ve been working on that,” Stites said. “He’s been training super. We entered him in an allowance race earlier on and the race didn’t go, so this was our best option.”

Kissedbyanangel Leads the Way in $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly

Joanne Shankle’s Kissedbyanangel, claimed out of a victory in her mid-September debut, kept Sheilahs Warcloud at bay the length of the stretch to register a front-running triumph in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly.

It was the sixth career start for Kissedbyanangel ($5), third in stakes company, and first since running third – 3 ½ lengths behind runner-up Sheliahs Warcloud – in the Maryland Million Lassie Oct. 14.

Kissedbyanangel broke alertly under jockey Angel Cruz and went straight to the front, going the opening quarter-mile in 24.26 seconds pressed by Determined Sail, stakes-placed on turf but making her first start on dirt. Big Earn raced in third along the rail with Sheilahs Warcloud in the clear in fourth.

The half went in 48.05 seconds as Sheilahs Warcloud swept into second on the outside under Xavier Perez, setting the stage for a drive to a wire through the stretch. Kissedbyanangel edged clear inside the eighth pole to win by two lengths in 1:24.94.

“I just told Angel, ‘Ride your race,’” Shankle, who also trains the winner, said. “He knows the filly. ‘If he can get an easy lead, just go,’ and it worked out.”

Big Earn came with a late run to nose out second-time starter Binnie for third, followed by Lucky Cougar, Determined Sail, Still Game and Little Crybaby.

Kissedbyanangel was claimed for $12,500 out of a 6 ¾-length win Sept. 10 at historic Pimlico Race Course. Eighth in the 1 1/16-mile Selima on the Laurel turf in her subsequent start, she ran third in the Lassie and second in a six-furlong optional claimer Oct. 28 before winning a similar spot going one mile Nov. 17.

“I just looked and she was Maryland-bred by Golden Lad so we just took a shot,” Shankle said. “She’s improving every day.”