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Hello Beautiful Back for More in $100,000 Safely Kept
Needs Supervision Set to Return in $100,000 Primonetta
Wicked Awesome Tests Streak in $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go
LAUREL, MD – Two Grade 3 winners, a multiple graded-stakes placed filly and another who is undefeated and actually sharing the same shedrow are among the competition awaiting Hello Beautiful as she goes after her second straight stakes win and fourth overall in Saturday’s $100,000 Safely Kept at Laurel Park.
The seven-furlong Safely Kept is one of six stakes worth $600,000 in purses on the nine-race Fall Festival of Racing program that includes the $100,000 Primonetta at six furlongs and $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go going about 1 1/16 miles, both for females 3 and up.
First race post time is 12:25 p.m.
Madaket Stables, Albert Frassetto, Mark Parkinson, K-Mac Stables and Magic City Stables’ Hello Beautiful won back-to-back stakes, the Maryland Million Lassie and Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship, to cap her juvenile season and has earned all five of her career victories in eight tries over her home course for trainer Brittany Russell.
The latest win was perhaps her most impressive, rebounding from a pair of off-the-board finishes in out-of-town stakes including her graded debut to romp by 11 ¼ lengths in the Maryland Million Distaff Oct. 24. In all, her Laurel victories have come by 40 ½ combined lengths – more than eight lengths per win.
“We were just delighted with that performance, and I think the even better thing about it was how well she came out of the race,” Russell said. “She came out of the Distaff like it was nothing. She was back to the track bouncing within a couple days, so that makes us feel good moving forward into this race.”
Russell said she considered other spots for Hello Beautiful, including the Primonetta against older fillies, before settling on the Safely Kept which keeps her against fellow sophomores. Russell’s husband, jockey Sheldon Russell – aboard for all five of the filly’s wins – returns to ride from Post 8 in the field of nine.
“It’s not restricted, but ... it’s what we wanted – stay home, with Sheldon, and try and win sort of an open stake,” Russell said. “She’s amazing. She really is. We want nothing more than to see her continue to stay on the upswing like we thought we would be earlier in the year. We’ve just had to be patient and kind of ride the wave.”
One of Hello Beautiful’s rivals will come out of the same barn. Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc. and Ten Strike Racing’s Lady Rocket has raced just twice but is undefeated against maiden special weight and open allowance company at Saratoga and Keeneland for trainer Brad Cox. Russell worked for the Kentucky-based Cox for four years before returning to Maryland and going out on her own.
“I told him weeks ago when he was thinking about bringing her that we would take her,” Russell said.
Project Whiskey, Fly On Angel and Reagan’s Edge all bring graded-stakes credentials to the Safely Kept. Cash is King and LC Racing’s Project Whiskey won the Delaware Oaks (G3) July 4 and was second in the Monmouth Oaks (G3) but has had less success in two subsequent trips to Maryland, finishing off the board in the Weber City Miss at Laurel and Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico Race Course. She will break from Post 7.
“She’s drawn some pretty lousy posts so we were hoping for a little better draw, something toward the outside,” trainer Robert E. ‘Butch’ Reid Jr. said. “She’s been stuck on the rail the last few times and hasn’t gotten away from the gate real clean, so a little better break and a little better position for her helps. She’s doing really well. On her day she’s right there with them.”
Joseph Besecker’s Fly On Angel stepped up to win the seven-furlong Charles Town Oaks (G3) Aug. 28 in her first start since being claimed by Maryland’s leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez. In her only start since, she got bumped at the start and dueled through sharp fractions for a half-mile before tiring to be sixth in the six-furlong Miss Preakness (G3) Oct. 3.
“She came back good and her last breeze here at Laurel made me happy. She did really good that day and that’s why we’re going to run here,” Gonzalez said. “She didn’t get a clear trip last time. We’re going to try here because going seven-eighths maybe she’ll have more of a chance to get to the lead.”
Gonzalez also entered BB Horses’ Landing Zone, riding a four-race win streak into her 19th career start and first in a stakes. She will be cutting back to a sprint for the first time since a 5 ½-furlong starter optional victory in the Laurel slop Aug. 13 to kick off her current stretch.
“This filly has changed. She’s like a different filly now. She’d doing good, and after the last race she came back happy,” he said. “She trains good every day, better and better. I think she is going to run good.”
Lael Stables’ Reagan’s Edge ran behind Frank’s Rockette in both the 6 ½-furlong Victory Ride (G3) July 4 at Belmont Park and six-furlong Prioress (G2) Sept. 5 at Saratoga, beating Hello Beautiful in the latter. Last out, she was fourth by three-quarters of a length in the seven-furlong Raven Run (G2) Oct. 17 at Keeneland.
Completing the field are 2019 Gin Talking winner Bella Aurora, Bobby’s Goldengirl and Madam Meena.
Needs Supervision Set to Return in $100,000 Primonetta
Howling Pigeon Farms, Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Madaket Stables’ multiple stakes winner Needs Supervision, unraced since mid-March, is set to return against nine rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 Primonetta.
Needs Supervision was winless in three starts over the winter before the coronavirus pandemic paused racing for 2 ½ months in Maryland, returning May 30. She will be cutting back to her shortest distance since finishing second in the six-furlong Weather Vane last September at Laurel.
Winner of Fair Grounds’ one-mile, 70-yard Silverbulletday at 2 and Laurel’s seven-furlong Safely Kept at 3, Needs Supervision went to the sidelines after running third in the one-mile Nellie Morse March 14. Prior to that race she finished fourth in the Barbara Fritchie (G3) and second as the favorite in her 4-year-old debut, the What A Summer, both at Laurel.
“She was running good but there was something that was stopping her from being 100 peercent, so we gave her a lot of time off,” trainer Jerry O’Dwyer said. “She went up to Bruce Jackson at Fair Hill and they started her back a bit up there and we got her back when she started galloping.
“We’ve had her back for a while now. She’s been breezing regularly there at Laurel week in and week out, so she’s ready for a start,” he added. “It’s been a good while now, so we’re looking forward to getting her back going.”
O’Dwyer said he looked at some out-of-town options to bring Needs Supervision back, but decided to stay home where she can run over her own track and have the services of fall meet-leading rider Sheldon Russell. They will break from Post 2 in a field of 10 at co-topweight of 125 pounds.
“We like being able to run her out her own back door and see what we’ve got,” O’Dwyer said. “She’s been doing everything right. She’s a quirky little filly but very talented in the right frame of mind. I think we’ve got her good right now. Sheldon has been breezing her regularly and he’s quite happy with her.”
Needs Supervision has responded well to the time off and, though she’s typically found herself in mid-pack during her races, O’Dwyer wouldn’t be surprised to see her a little closer this time around.
“She hasn’t been the greatest away from the gate. She breaks OK but she’s never shown a ton of gate speed. She’s always been kind of a fresh, active, athletic filly. There never seems to a bottom to her,” O’Dwyer said. “You would be expecting first time off the layoff that she’s going to be a little fresher. I’ve only breezed her once from the gate since she came back, and she breezed good.
“We’ll see what way the race unfolds, what’s in there, what kind of speed there is. Ideally I’d like to see her break better than she had been; maybe being fresh and having a little bit of time off will help her do that,” he added. “It was always niggly stuff. She never had anything major wrong with her. She’s a happy filly. She loves to train, she loves to race. It’s great to have her back in the barn.”
Five Hellions Farm’s Dontletsweetfoolya takes a three-race win streak into the Primonetta for trainer Lacey Gaudet. The daughter of Stay Thirsty was also nominated to the Safely Kept against fellow 3-year-olds but her connections opted to keep her against the older horses she’s been facing all year.
Dontletsweetfoolya has progressed in each start since racing resumed, capturing a six-furlong maiden special weight July 24 and an open entry-level allowance going seven furlongs Sept. 5, both in front-running fashion at Laurel. Her three wins have come by 21 ¼ combined lengths, including a three-length second-level allowance triumph Oct. 1 at Pilmico.
“These owners are just incredible to work with. We worked this filly the last time as a 2-year-old last December, and I said, ‘Look, guys. We have two options. We can either turn this filly out for 90 days and not even think about her or ask about her, because she’s a little bit of a [head] case, or you can just lay her in right now and lose her for [$25,000],’” Gaudet said. “The filly was fast and talented, but just didn’t have her head on straight. She was just a 2-year-old
“They had all the patience in the world with this filly. They made all the right calls. They sent her down to Brian Rice and he trained her down there for a little while,” she added. “We worked together, I went down to Ocala and saw her train on the farm, and he sent her up to us. They were just like, ‘Tell us when we’re ready. Tell us when to be there.’ They’ve really let us be able to do the right thing by her.”
Jevian Toledo, up for all three of her wins, rides back from Post 6.
Never Enough Time, winner of the Alma North and Skipat going six furlongs at Laurel and Pimlico, respectively, before a third in the Nov. 1 Pumpkin Pie at Aqueduct; Aliso, Ashara, Giggling, Last True Love, S W Briar Rose, Suggestive Honor and Timely Tradition are also entered.
Wicked Awesome Tests Streak in $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go
Warwick Stable’s Wicked Awesome, winner of the Twixt Stakes over Labor Day weekend at Laurel Park, takes aim at extending her win streak to four races in Saturday’s $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go.
A 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Again, Wicked Awesome has won five of seven starts in 2020, two of them coming before racing was paused in Maryland amid the coronavirus pandemic. She returned to run fourth in the Obeah and fifth in the Delaware Handicap (G2), finding trouble in both races.
“She’s been pretty special. We identified that kind of early in the year but this pandemic has kind of made the pathways for these horses a little bit tedious,” trainer Ferris Allen III said. “When we felt like she was a stakes horse we first ran her in the Obeah at Delaware and she was in trouble of couple times. Because the Del Cap came up so light we took a chance in that and she was also in trouble in that race a couple times. Particularly the Del Cap was more ambitious that what I would have ever chosen for her under ordinary circumstances.”
The experience proved beneficial for Wicked Awesome, who came from off the pace to win the 1 1/16-mile Twixt by four lengths. In against starter company on Claiming Crown preview day Oct. 2 at Pimlico, she romped by 10 ¾ lengths in a race rained off the grass, then came back to capture an open one-mile allowance Nov. 4 at Parx.
“After she had been through those two [Delaware] races and I guess you would say [was] unsuccessful, but to our eye she was not a misfit. She ran good races with troubled trips in both races,” Allen said. “From there we put her on a little bit more reasonable path and she’s really paid us back for that as you can see.
“Once again, after she won the Twixt there was nowhere to run her, so she ran in the Claiming Crown race which we got lucky because it rained off the grass,” he added. “Then we were lucky to get an allowance race to fill at Parx for her last win. When you really look at it there was really nowhere to run between running in the Twixt and this race. I think we’ve been real lucky to have two races to run her in.”
Allen was particularly impressed with her most recent effort because Wicked Awesome displayed the tenacity to match her talent to overcome circumstances and win by a neck as the heavy favorite.
“She was going up against a very strong track bias that day at Parx and the filly we wore down to win was on the front end,” he said. “The track was very speed-favoring. We were quite worried at the top of the lane but she dug in and got the job done.”
Horacio Karamanos, a winner three straight times on Wicked Awesome including a March 6 optional claiming allowance at Laurel, gets the assignment from Post 8 in the nine-horse field.
Multiple stakes winners Artful Splatter and Las Setas line up against Wicked Awesome looking to get back on the winning track. James C. Wolf’s Artful Splatter won the Geisha in January at Laurel and the George Rosenberger Memorial Sept. 26 at Delaware, both over off tracks. She finished fifth behind runaway winner Hello Beautiful in the Maryland Million Distaff Oct. 24.
Co-owned and bred by trainer Katy Voss, Las Setas won four straight races in the winter and spring of 2019 including a sweep of Laurel’s 3-year-old filly prep races – the Wide Country, Beyond the Wire and Weber City Miss – earning a spot in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2), where she finished seventh. She has run just three times since and was sixth in the Distaff in just her second start of 2020.
Puerto Rican Group 2 stakes winner Lucky Stride; graded-stakes placed Eres Tu and Sweet Sami D; Awe Emma, Breviary and On the Town complete the field.