Laurel’s Final 2021 Stakes Action Begins Dec. 4 with 2-Year-Olds

Laurel’s Final 2021 Stakes Action Begins Dec. 4 with 2-Year-Olds

$100,000 Juvenile, $100,000 Juvenile Fillies Attract 45 Nominations
Stakes Winning Trainer Bezara Goes Out a Winner Sunday at Laurel

LAUREL, MD – Stakes winners Buff Hello, Cynergy’s Star, Local Motive and filly Buff My Boots are among 45 2-year-olds nominated to a pair of juvenile stakes Saturday, Dec. 4 at Laurel Park.

The $100,000 Maryland Juvenile and $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Fillies, both for Maryland-bred/sired horses sprinting seven furlongs, kick off the stakes action in the final month of the calendar year that wraps up with the Dec. 26 Christmastide program of six stakes worth $600,000 in purses.

Joseph Besecker’s Buff Hello was a front-running two-length winner of the Maryland Million Nursery Oct. 23 in his fifth career start. He is one of 10 Juvenile nominees to have run in the six-furlong sprint including Local Motive, who finished third but returned with a determined head victory in the James F. Lewis III Nov. 13, also at Laurel.

Others coming out of the Nursery include runner-up Coastal Mission, a full brother to retired multiple stakes winner Lewisfield; Cynergy’s Star, winless since taking the Timonium Juvenile Aug. 29; respective fourth and fifth-place finishers Shady Munni and Mr. Mox; and Under the Radar, third in the Aug. 26 Dover at Delaware Park.

Bird Mobberley’s Buff My Boots captured the Maryland Million Lassie by a half-length in gate-to-wire fashion, the came back and tired to fifth following a speed duel with Sparkle Sprinkle in the Nov. 13 Smart Halo, also six furlongs at Laurel. Sparkle Sprinkle and Lassie runner-up My Thoughts are also among the Juvenile Fillies nominees.

Also prominent among Juvenile Fillies nominees are Luna Belle, fourth by a length in the Lassie and most recently second in the Smart Halo; Smart Halo show finisher Click to Confirm; Dazzy, a dazzling 12-length debut winner Oct. 29 at Belmont Park; Jester Calls Nojoy, winless in two stakes attempts for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher following a 10-length maiden triumph at Saratoga; and Small Wonder runner-up Whiteknuckleflyer.

James McIngvale’s Runup, three-length winner of the Sorority Sept. 6 at Monmouth Park that finished off the board in the Alcibiades (G1) last time out, was nominated and being pointed to a start but will miss the race with a bruised foot, trainer Laura Wohlers said Sunday.

West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner’s Jaxon Traveler won last year’s Juvenile before going on to capture the Bachelor at Oaklawn Park and Star de Naskra at historic Pimlico Race Course this year, while also running second in Pimlico’s Chick Lang (G3) and Saratoga’s Quick Call (G3).

After winning the Juvenile Fillies, Lucky 7 Stables’ Street Lute ended 2020 with a victory in the Laurel’s Gin Talking and has four wins and three thirds, all in stakes, from 10 starts this year.

Stakes Winning Trainer Bezara Goes Out a Winner Sunday at Laurel

Reveron Racing Inc.’s Armando R steadily advanced around the far turn, swung wide into the stretch and powered through the lane to a 1 ½-length victory Sunday at Laurel Park to give trainer Agustin Bezara a win with his final starter.

Jevian Toledo was aboard Armando R ($9.20) in the two-turn claimer for 3-year-olds and up. The winning time for about 1 1/16 miles was 1:46.06 over a fast main track.

“Believe me, it’s great,” Bezara said following the race. “It’s a feeling with no words.”

A gelded 5-year-old son of Grade 1 winner Blame, Armando R is 3-for-6 this year and represents all of Bezara’s 2021 wins from 35 total starters at Laurel and historic Pimlico Race Course. Bezara saida he will be relocating to Fairfax, Va.

“We are going to start some new enterprises with less stress,” Bezara said.

A champion trainer in his native Venezuela before coming to the U.S. in 2009, Bezara had 99 wins from 921 career starters with purse earnings of more than $2.6 million. He is perhaps best known for training 2012 Gulfstream Park Derby winner Reveron, who would go on to be second by a length at odds of 31-1 in the Florida Derby (G1) but miss the Kentucky Derby (G1) with a leg injury.

Bezara, based in South Florida when he first arrived, also trained Narvaez to a fourth-place finish in the 2013 Florida Derby, three-quarters of a length ahead of 2012 champion 2-year-old male champion Shanghai Bobby. Bezara also trained stakes winner Numb Lips.

“I have a lot of great memories from this business, believe me,” he said.

Notes: Fall meet-leading jockey Jevian Toledo had two winners Sunday with Armando R ($9.20) in Race 3 and Gunhand ($11.20) in Race 6. Carlos Lopez also doubled aboard Hicktown ($5.80) in Race 2 and Alpha Chi Rho ($3.60) in Race 7, and Kevin Gomez bookended the card with wins on Special Freedom ($2.80) in Race 1 and Expect the Sunrise ($4.60) in Race 9 … Richard Schultz’s Radical Right ($12.40) held off Rominski to capture Sunday’s Race 8 feature, a six-furlong optional claiming allowance for 2-year-olds. The winning time was 1:11.59 for six furlongs over a fast main track … Live action returns to Laurel Park with a nine-race program Friday, Dec. 3 starting at 12:25 p.m. There will be a carryover of $3,775.77 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6.