Graded Winners Abound in Prince George’s County Nominations

Graded Winners Abound in Prince George’s County Nominations

Defending Champ, G2-Placed Witty Tops Nominees to Ben’s Cat
Jameela Nominations Led by Recent G2 Winner Future Is Now
Three Grass Stakes Worth $250,000 in Purses Sunday, July 14

LAUREL, MD – Graded-stakes winners English Bee, Highland Chief, Money Supply, Runaway Storm, Wow Whata Summer and Yes This Time are among 27 nominees to the listed $100,000 Prince George’s County at Laurel Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Prince George’s County for horses 3 and older is the richest of three scheduled turf stakes on a Sunday, July 14 program that includes two six-furlong sprints for Maryland-bred/sired 3-year-olds and up – the $75,000 Jameela for fillies and mares and $75,000 Ben’s Cat.

Now 8, English Bee won the James Murphy at Pimlico, Virginia Derby (G3) and Parx Fall Derby in 2019. Since then he has placed in seven stakes, five of them graded, and was second in Laurel’s April 20 Henry S. Clark. The winner that day was fellow nominee Dataman, his Graham Motion-trained stablemate that is 2-0 on the Laurel turf including a victory in the 2023 Bald Eagle Derby and exits a triumph in the May 25 Cliff Hanger at Monmouth Park.

Other Motion nominees include 2022 Man o’ War (G1) and Sycamore (G3) winner Highland Chief, most recently fourth in Pimlico’s May 18 Dinner Party (G3) in his second start off a 17-month layoff; and Hardspun Reason, a winner of three straight, all on the Laurel turf, the latest a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance June 15 in his 5-year-old season opener.

Money Supply has yet to race on turf, winning the Feb. 17 Mineshaft (G3) at Fair Grounds. Unraced since Oct. 28, Runaway Storm is 3-for-5 lifetime on the grass, including a victory in the one-mile Bryan Station (G3) at Keeneland last time out. Both are entered in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Yes This Time (third) and Wow Whata Summer (fifth) both come out of a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance June 30 on the Laurel turf. It was the first start of the season for 6-year-old Yes This Time, winner of the 2021 Kent (G2) at Delaware Park, and fourth of 2024 for 5-year-old Wow Whata Summer, who earned graded credentials in the 2022 Penn Mile (G2).

Multiple stakes winners Ain’t Da Beer Cold, Forever Souper and Laughing Boy; The Addison Pour, beaten a length or less in six of his last seven starts; and multiple graded-stakes placed Tawny Port are also prominent among Prince George’s County nominees.

Defending champion Witty tops 21 nominations to the Ben’s Cat, named for the late Mid-Atlantic legend who died in 2017 at the age of 11. A 5-year-old half-brother to millionaire Grade 1 winner Caravel, Witty has won three stakes each on grass and dirt and most recently ran second in the six-furlong Highlander (G2) June 29 at Woodbine.

Other Ben’s Cat nominees include Bump N Run, fourth behind Witty in the 5 ½-furlong King T. Leatherbury April 20 at Laurel; 2021 Maryland Million Turf Sprint winner Grateful Bred; Great Idea, third or better in nine of 14 tries on the Laurel turf; Johnyz From Albany, winner of the 2022 Maryland Million Nursery on dirt; Matta, third to Witty in the 2023 Ben’s Cat; Rominski, a winner of four straight on the main track; and Tidewater, second behind Witty in the 2023 Maryland Million Turf Sprint.

The Jameela drew 26 nominees led by R. Larry Johnson’s Maryland homebred Future Is Now. Since finishing fifth to Witty in the King Leatherbury, the 4-year-old filly has won the five-furlong The Very One May 17 at Pimlico and 5 ½-furlong Intercontinental (G2) June 7 at Saratoga for trainer Michael Trombetta.

Other nominees include Bosserati, winner of the 5 ½-furlong Stormy Blues last summer on the Laurel turf; 2021 Keswick winner Cavalier Cupid; Chelichna, second by a half-length or less in her three starts this year; 2023 Maryland Million Ladies runner-up Double Fireball; dirt stakes-winning stablemates Intrepid Dream and Malibu Beauty; and Money’s Worth and Hollywood Walk, respectively third and fifth in last year’s Jameela.

Entries will be taken and post positions drawn on Monday, July 8 for all three stakes.