Strong Thursday Program as Live Racing Returns to Laurel

Strong Thursday Program as Live Racing Returns to Laurel

Pair of 2YO Maiden Events, Allowance Feature Top 8-Race Card
Nominations Close Saturday for Three $100,000 Stakes Nov. 11

LAUREL, MD – A loaded program of three maiden special weight events including two for 2-year-olds, a pair of carryovers and an optional claiming allowance feature with three stakes winners in the field of seven highlight the return of live racing Thursday at Laurel Park.

Post time for the first of eight races is 12:25 p.m.

Eight juvenile fillies are entered to go seven furlongs in Race 2, four of them making their career debut led by Redfire, a $200,000 daughter of two-time Horse of the Year and 2014 Hall of Famer Curlin trained by Cal Lynch, who clicks at 32 percent with first-time starters. Maryland’s co-leading trainer, Brittany Russell, sends out Palace Malice firster Venemous Vixen, while Arnaud Delacour unveils J Rivers, a Distorted Humor filly with bullets in two of her last three works at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., where Redfire is also based.

Race 3 is a maiden special weight for horses ages 3, 4 and 5 scheduled for one mile on the Kelso turf course that drew an overflow field of 16 with five also-eligibles as well as Mindtap, for main track only. The 2-1 program favorite is Hurrying Home, a 3-year-old son of champion Uncle Mo that fetched $300,000 as a yearling and was beaten a neck when second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden event on the grass Oct. 6 at Laurel, his second start and first since debuting in February for Hall of Famer Bill Mott. Trainer Mike Trombetta, whose turf runners have done well of late, counters with Harbor Moon, third by less than a length facing elders last out.

Thursday’s feature comes in Race 4, a third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Three horses – nine-time winner Outlier; 2021 Harrod’s Creek winner Everett’s Song, the 8-5 favorite; and two-time Laurel stakes winner Armando R are entered for the $55,000 tag.

Magic Michael, winner of the 2021 Greenwood Cup (G3) at Parx, is entered to make just his second start since finishing second by a length last fall in his Greenwood Cup title defense. Racing for the first time in nearly a year, the 6-year-old gelding ran an even fifth after hopping at the start of a Sept. 15 optional claiming allowance at Pimlico Race Course won by Everett’s Song with Outlier second.

A 1 1/8-mile allowance for Maryland-bred/sired 3-year-olds and up, also scheduled for the Kelso, saw 11 entered including Frightland and Shady Munni for main track only. Leading the way on grass are Hardspun Reason, an open turf allowance winner at the distance Aug. 18 at Laurel for trainer Graham Motion; Bonded, Oct. 14 winner of the Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap; and My Boy Paddy, beaten just over three lengths in Laurel’s Aug. 19 Find.

Thursday’s card wraps up with a maiden special weight for 2-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs. No Foolin Mo, a $200,000 son of Uncle Mo that was third in each of his first two starts; City of Light colt Gran Yaco; Coringa, a closing second in debut going six furlongs Sept. 29 at Laurel; Regalo, a $280,000 Maximus Mischief colt that ran second as the favorite in his Sept. 15 unveiling at Pimlico; and first-time starters Rapid Punch, Kake’s Rags and Sir Exton are among the contenders.

There will be carryovers of $1,949.05 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 3-8) and $1,299.71 in the $1 Jackpot Super High Five (Race 6).

Jevian Toledo and Jeiron Barbosa are tied atop the jockey standings with 16 wins apiece at the calendar year-ending fall meet, which began Sept. 29. Third with 12 is Jaime Rodriguez, who has a 128-118 lead over Barbosa in wins at Laurel and Pimlico this year.

Jamie Ness leads Russell, 11-7, for leading trainer. The two are tied with 88 wins at Laurel and Pimlico in 2023.

Nominations close Saturday, Oct. 28 for Laurel’s next three stakes to be run Saturday, Nov. 11 – the $100,000 James F. Lewis III for 2-year-olds and $100,000 Smart Halo for 2-year-old fillies, both sprinting six furlongs, and $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/16 miles.

Stakes coordinator Eleanor Albert is accepting nominations at or 1-800-638-1859.