Eleven It Is Breaks Maiden at Laurel Off Nearly Two-Year Break

Eleven It Is Breaks Maiden at Laurel Off Nearly Two-Year Break

Minit to Stardom Sets Course Record in Friday Feature Triumph    
Free Program on Fan Appreciation Day Saturday at Laurel Park

LAUREL, MD – Northwoods Stable’s Eleven It Is made a successful return to racing after nearly two years away, overcoming a wide trip on both turns and drawing clear to a 4 ¾-length victory Friday at Laurel Park.

Favored at 2-5 over 11 rivals in the $22,000 maiden claimer for 3-year-olds and up, Eleven It Is ($3) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.14 over a firm Exceller turf course layout under Forest Boyce for trainer Jack Fisher.

“I have full faith in Jack; he knows how to get one ready. He nearly got me to win a jump race, so if he can do that, he can do anything,” Boyce said. “You always know he’s going to have one ready; whether they decide to do it or not is a whole other thing, but that’s out of his control. I had a ton of horse. It worked out well. Luckily it kind of set up. On paper I was worried there wasn’t much speed in there, but, thankfully, a few horses went.”
Breaking from Post 9, Eleven It Is was carried wide after bumping with Defend the Bay rounding the first turn, ultimately settling in fourth as Dynastic was in front through a quarter-mile in 23.65 seconds, a half in 48.03 and six furlongs in 1:12.44, tracked by Let Me Ask Bob and To Be Or Not to Be. Boyce swung outside again approaching the stretch and set her sights on the lead, straightening for home and opening up once in the clear, despite ducking back to the inside nearing the wire.

It was just the fourth career start for Eleven It Is, a gelded 5-year-old son of Smart Strike who fetched $230,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September 2015. Unraced at 2, he debuted running third in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight July 21, 2017 at Laurel, also with Boyce aboard.

“He’s just had some little problems. We’ve taken a couple chips out of his knees, which aren’t a big deal but each time we’d get him back he’d get another chip,” Fisher said. “We took chips out of his knee last summer or fall, so we just gave him time and turned him out. He’s also a bad stallwalker, so he lives out in the field.”

Eleven It Is ran twice more as a 3-year-old, both in one-mile maiden special weight company on the turf, finishing fourth at Monmouth Park Aug. 20 and third Sept. 10, 2017, the latter his most recent effort.

“Down the stretch, he looked a little green. He’d only raced three times, even though he’s 5 years old. I didn’t expect to take him home, but I did expect him to win,” Fisher, the National Steeplechase Association’s champion trainer the past seven years, said. “I’m lucky enough that the owners I have will give me all the time in the world that I want, and if I don’t think they’re right we don’t need to run them.”

Minit to Stardom Sets Course Record in Friday Feature Triumph

Brittlyn Stable Inc.’s Minit to Stardom, first or second in seven of her first eight starts including one previous try on turf, returned to the grass in record-setting fashion with a front-running 2 ½-length triumph in Laurel’s Friday feature.

A Louisiana-bred stakes winner at 2 whose only off-the-board finish came when sixth in the 2018 Test (G1) at Saratoga, Minit to Stardom ($5.20) won the $47,000 third-level optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up in 1:00.75 over a firm Bowl Game turf course layout.

The final time eclipsed the previous 5 ½-furlong Bowl Game mark of 1:00.94 set by Light The Night June 18, 2017.

“We ran like three weeks ago and this race came up and we decided to give it a shot,” winning trainer Jose Camejo said. “She worked last week and she worked really well. The only thing we were concerned about was the turf, but she handled it really good and we got the result.”

Jockey Alex Cintron hustled Minit to Stardom to the lead from her outside post and was in front through fractions of 22.58, 44.51 and 55.15 seconds, with Too Much Tip and Souper Echo in closest pursuit. Souper Echo ranged up on Minit to Stardom along the rail at the top of the stretch but the winner found another gear and pulled away as Too Much Tip edged Souper Echo for second.

Cintron was aboard Minit to Stardom for her gate-to-wire 3 ¼-length score May 8 over Delaware Park’s main track. It was the first start for the 4-year-old Star Guitar filly since March 21 and first since being transferred to Camejo from trainer Al Stall Jr.

“I was very confident in the filly,” Cintron said. “She ran at Delaware and she ran a very good race over there on the dirt. I didn’t think the grass would make a difference. She got the lead and she sat so good and I was so confident on her. She ran a good race.”

Camejo hinted that a return to stakes company is likely for Minit to Stardom, second in a pair of dirt sprint stakes over the winter in Louisiana.

“We’ll see where we go from here,” Camejo said. “We’ve got to see how she comes out and we’ll go from there. We might think about giving her a shot in a stake and see how that goes.”

Free Program on Fan Appreciation Day Saturday at Laurel Park

Laurel Park will celebrate Fan Appreciation Day Saturday, June 8, offering 12 live races and the chance to watch and wager on the 151st Belmont Stakes (G1) from Belmont Park featuring War of Will, winner of the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18 at Pimlico Race Course.

Doors will open at 11 a.m. at Laurel, with a special first-race post time of 12:30 p.m. Fans will receive a free live program featuring races from Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park and Belmont Park, with simulcast programs offered at half price. There will also be a special Belmont Stakes buffet at a cost of $36.

Laurel’s final Triple Crown Day provides fans with a souvenir live racing program and assigned seat at a private betting carrel in the Silks Room, featuring more than 50 HD televisions and state of the art Jumboscreen. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling 877-206-8042 or clicking here: Click here to purchase tickets

Day of race tickets, if available, can also be purchased at the Guest Services Counter.

Post time at Belmont Park is 11:35 a.m., with the Belmont Stakes scheduled to go off at 6:37 p.m. War of Will drew Post 9 of 10 and is second on the morning line at 2-1 behind Tacitus (9-5).
Maryland-bred Alwaysmining, a winner of five consecutive stakes and six races overall at Laurel Park before finishing 11th in the Preakness, is the 6-5 program favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Easy Goer Stakes for 3-year-olds, carded as Race 3 (12:47 p.m.) at Belmont. Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will be aboard for the first time from outside Post 6.

Notes: Seven-pound apprentice Avery Whisman, who was not feeling well Friday, was replaced on his final two mounts. The 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 7-12) will have a jackpot carryover of $4,345.28 for Saturday after going unsolved on Friday’s program. Multiple tickets with all six winners each returned $659.08.