Laurel Fall Meet Resumes with Eight-Race Program Thursday

Laurel Fall Meet Resumes with Eight-Race Program Thursday

Stablemates The Addison Pour, Wish Me Home Top Turf Feature

LAUREL, MD – Following a successful weekend highlighted by the 38th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program, fall meet action returns to Laurel Park with a live eight-race program Thursday.

First race post time is 12:25 p.m.

Four races are scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course, utilizing the All Along and Dahlia layouts, attracting 49 entries with overflow fields in Races 1 and 3, both claiming events for fillies and mares 3 and older. Race 5 is a wide-open starter optional claimer sprinting 5 ½ furlongs on the All Along that includes stakes winners Embolden and Indian Lake and 5-2 program favorite Destin’s Mission, a winner at the course and distance Aug. 11.

A stakes-quality second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up scheduled for one mile on the Dahlia in Race 7 drew a field of 11 including Tom Hagen and Godolphin-bred stakes winner Spycraft, each entered for a tag. There Are No Words is a New Jersey-bred son of California Chrome that is winless in four tries this year but has placed in three consecutive turf stakes at Monmouth Park going a mile and beyond.

Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group is represented by homebred The Addison Pour and fellow Maryland-bred Wish Me Home. The Addison Pour has two wins and a third from four starts since being moved to the grass and coming off a troubled fourth by a length in the 1 1/16-mile Find Aug. 19 at Laurel, his stakes debut.

Wish Me Home also exits the Find, where he set the pace into the stretch and wound up third, three-quarters of a length behind multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Field Pass. It was the 4-year-old’s second start since being claimed by Elkstone for $40,000 June 4 at historic Pimlico Race Course, following a front-running open allowance triumph July 15 at Laurel.

“I’d love to be able to split them up, but there’s not very many turf races left. I don’t love running against myself; on the other hand, I’m fortunate that they have two entirely different racing styles,” Grant said. “Wish Me Home, he’s going to go to the top and he’s going to set a good pace and if somebody wants to go with him, so be it. If it winds up being a speed duel, Addison likes to come from way back, has one run and likes to come flying. I wish I could separate them out, but I can’t. They will be tough. I know there’s some other real good horses in there, but it’ll set up one way or the other.”

Also in the race are Wow Whata Summer, third by a neck in the Sept. 2 Bert Allen at Colonial Downs that is winless in 12 starts since his 83-1 upset of the 2022 Penn Mile (G2); and Swan Lake, winner of the May 6 English Channel on the Gulfstream Park turf.

Thursday’s co-feature comes in Race 4, a second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up going one mile on the main track. Prominent in the field of seven are 2021 Private Terms winner Shackled Love, making just his third start since August 2021; Uncle Irish, third or better in 11 of 18 starts with four wins; Feeling Woozy, a grandson of Hall of Famer Curlin that ran third in the February 18 Miracle Wood; and Elkstone’s It’s Viper, a homebred son of Super Saver that was third in the June 25 Tale Of the Cat at Monmouth Park.

After breaking his maiden for a $30,000 tag last fall, It’s Viper opened 2023 with a 5 ¾-length starter optional claiming victory Jan. 14 at Aqueduct and has three wins, one second and two thirds from eight starts as a 3-year-old.

“We ran him for [$30,000] and he won and then we sent him up to New York in the [$50,000] starter and he won up there, and he sort of started to get it. He’s done really nicely and come along well,” Grant said. “He disappointed us in the stakes [at Monmouth] where I thought he was the best horse and he got a really bad ride. He’s another one that has one move and likes to come from behind and had a jock that didn’t really know him [that decided to] go with the pace. I’ve got someone on him who knows him now and he should be tough.”

There are carryovers of $8,900.37 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 3-8) and $4,830.99 in the $1 Jackpot Super High Five (Race 6).