Trio of Stakes Winners Top $100,000 Heft Nominations

Trio of Stakes Winners Top $100,000 Heft Nominations

Joins $100K Gin Talking as Juvenile Stakes Saturday, Dec. 30
Trainers Lacey Gaudet, Diane Morici Win Two Apiece Sunday
Triple Carryovers When Live Racing Resumes Friday, Dec. 22

LAUREL, MD – Stakes winners Catahoula Moon, Circle P and Sweet Soddy J highlight a list of 27 2-year-olds nominated to the $100,000 Heft Saturday, Dec. 30 at Laurel Park.

The Heft and $100,000 Gin Talking for 2-year-old fillies, both sprinting seven furlongs, are the final two stakes on Maryland’s 2023 calendar. The fall meet which began Sept. 9 wraps up Sunday, Dec. 31.

Super C Racing, Inc.’s Catahoula Moon was a 4 ¾-length winner of the six-furlong Maryland Million Nursery over fellow state-bred/sired horses Oct. 14 at Laurel before finishing fifth a troubled fifth in the open James F. Lewis III.

DeSales 85 LLC’s Circle P defeated Catahoula Moon by 1 ¾ lengths in the seven-furlong Maryland Juvenile Dec. 2 at Laurel, also against state-breds, two starts after graduating by 6 ½ going six furlongs in a Oct. 15 maiden claimer at Laurel.

Built Wright Stables’ Sweet Soddy J has run seven times, all at different tracks, the last six in stakes. He won each of his first two starts including the 6 ½-furlong Timonium Juvenile Sept. 2. He ran fourth in the Lewis in his only previous try at Laurel.

Ten horses were nominated off last-out wins including three from trainer Brittany Russell – Great Opportunity, a 7 ¼-length debut winner Dec. 3 at Laurel; Lawyer John, who graduated by six lengths at Laurel in front-running fashion Dec. 14; and Regalo, who has put together back-to-back victories at seven furlongs and 1 1/16 miles by 9 ¾ combined lengths.

Also among nominees are stakes-placed Speedyness and Thedingoateyobaby, and Maximus Meridius, a 10 ½-length maiden special weight winner of his unveiling Nov. 27 at Parx.

DARRS, Inc.’s Cap Classique, undefeated through three starts, top 26 nominees to the Gin Talking. Also trained by Russell, she won her debut on the Colonial Downs turf in mid-August, beat winners by seven lengths going 5 ½ furlongs Oct. 7 and rallied for a 1 ¼-length triumph in the six-furlong Smart Halo Nov. 11, both over Laurel’s main track.

Russell also nominated Perfectly Wicked, third in the one-million Tempted Nov. 5 at Aqueduct; Dwelling Legacy, 2 ¼-length maiden claiming winner sprinting six furlongs Dec. 16 at Laurel; and Sky Victory, who graduated by five lengths in a six-furlong maiden special weight Nov. 4 at Delaware Park in her lone start.

Joanne Shankle-owned and trained Kissedbyanangel, third in the Maryland Million Lassie Oct. 14, owns two consecutive wins including the seven-furlong Maryland Juvenile Filly Dec. 2 in her most recent start.

Two out-of-town horses are nominated off stakes victories. Cash is King and LC Racing’s Carmelina went gate to wire to win the six-furlong Shamrock Rose by 8 ¾ Nov. 22 at Penn National, while Mark Stanley’s Tricky Temper was a hard-fought neck winner of the six-furlong Key Cents Nov. 18 at Aqueduct.

Stakes-placed Beachfront Breeze, Miss Ellary and Perfectly Wicked are also nominated.

Entries will be taken and post positions drawn for both stakes on Saturday, Dec. 22.

Notes: Trainer Lacey Gaudet saddled a pair of winners Sunday, Full Irish ($6.20) in Race 3 and In My Opinion ($52.80) in Race 6 … Owner-trainer Diane Morici also doubled, with Jeopardy James ($12.20) in Race 4 and 3-year-old filly Ms. Bucchero ($18.80) in featured Race 8, an open allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up. The winning time was 1:12.59 for six furlongs over a main track rated good … There will be carryovers of $13,271.34 in the 50-cent Late Pick 5 (Races 5-9), $4,365.90 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 4-9) and $1,078.82 in the $1 Jackpot Super High Five (Race 6) wagers when live racing resumes at Laurel Friday, Dec. 22.