Celebrate your "Maryland pride" at Laurel Park Aug. 19 with a live racing program devoted to Maryland-sired or -bred horses as well as local vendors, other promotions, and a handicapping contest.
The Saturday afternoon event, dubbed Maryland Pride Day, will feature various food and beverage offerings with a Maryland flavor. Vendors will be located on the apron under the tent adjacent the grandstand.
On the beverage side, the following will be represented: Sagamore Spirit Distillery of Baltimore, Hidden Hills Farm and Vineyard of Frederick, Linganore Winecellars of Mt. Airy, Flying Dog Brewery of Frederick, and Jailbreak Brewing Co. of Laurel.
Anyone who purchases a live racing program will get a free Maryland Jockey Club cap, and the MJC also will offer a Champions Handicapping Tournament with a $300 buy-in ($100 entry fee and $200 for players' live bankrolls. Details on registration are available at www.laurelpark.com.
As for racing, there are four $75,000 stakes scheduled, all for Maryland-bred or -sired runners: the Star De Naskra and Miss Disco at six furlongs on the dirt, and the Find and All Brandy Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
The racing office also plans eight state-bred or state-sired maiden and allowance races with purses of $40,000-$45,000 to fill out the card; the substitute races in the condition book are $25,000 starter allowance events at one mile on the dirt.
Runnin Shoes Stable's Gethot Stayhot has consistently earned decent checks the last few months, and on Aug. 3 at Penn National Race Course she collected her second victory since the start of the Fantasy Ownership Challenge March 18.
With David Cora riding for trainer Kimberly Graci, the 5-year-old mare by Posse asserted herself early in the race for $5,000 claimers, took over entering the far turn and pulled away to win by three lengths over Secret Score in 1:12.30 for six furlongs on a track rated fast. Gethot Stayhot also won at Penn National May 25.
The purse was $12,400, and Gethot Stayhot earned $7,440 for her connections. That moved her from 19th to 17th in the contest standings with earnings of $21,283.
On July 31 at Parx Racing, Anthony Fontana's My Cotton Jones collected a $16,800 first-place check for winning a $7,500 claiming race and, after a subsequent third-place finish at Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts Aug. 5, quickly jumped to sixth-place in the contest standings.
The 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred gelding by Smarty Jones is trained by Juan Vazquez and was ridden by Edwin Rivera. He paid $13.60 to win.
Winning Way Racing Stable's Seeing'n'believing parlayed an even third-place finish in a seven-furlong race at Monmouth Park in New Jersey July 22 into a blowout victory in a one-turn-mile event at Laurel Park July 28.
Ridden by Sheldon Russell for trainer Richard Sillaman, the 4-year-old filly by Sightseeing grabbed the lead early and easily defeated three other runners in the off-the-turf race with four scratches. The purse for the starter allowance event was a nice $23,750, and the first-place check of $12,450 pushed Seeing'n'believing's contest earnings to $35,525. The filly went from 16th to fifth in the standings with the victory.
Seeing'n'believing won by 7 1/4 lengths over Peace Prize and paid $4 to win as the favorite.
It was the second contest win for Seeing'n'believing, who won at Laurel March 18, kickoff day for the Fantasy Ownership Challenge. She was claimed by her current connections for $7,500 that afternoon.
Earlier on the July 28 card at Laurel, Joan Everett's Participate, trained by Jason Egan and ridden by Forest Boyce, finished second in a claiming test with a $21,000 purse and moved her contest earnings to $44,543, which is good for fourth in the standings.
(Photo by Tom LaMarra)
Fed Up Fired Up had done a good job hitting the board and picking up checks since the launch of the Fantasy Ownership Challenge. But victory had eluded her—until July 26 at Delaware Park.
Owned by William Vieser II and Donald Barr, Fed Up Fired Up rallied from ninth early in a 1 1/16-mile turf race and got up to defeat favored Pop Rocks Lady by a half-length under Maryland-based jockey Steve Hamilton. The 4-year-old English Channel mare had two seconds, a third, and two fourths in her previous five races, and those finishes added up to $14,300 in Challenge earnings.
The July 26 race for $20,000 claimers carried a purse of $20,500. Fed Up Fired Up earned $12,000, so her contest bankroll now stands at $26,300, which moved her up to 13th in the standings.
Fed Up Fired Up returned a generous $14.80 win mutuel and became the sixth Challenge horse to win at Delaware Park in a little more than a month.
Old Coach Farm's Eyerish Inspired, a 4-year-old gray filly by Paddy O'Prado, found the winner's circle for the second time since the launch of the Fantasy Ownership Challenge with a victory in a $12,500 claiming race on the turf at Delaware Park July 22.
Trained by Mike Gorham and ridden by Augusto Marin, Eyerish Inspired raced in ninth in a field of 11 for more than a half-mile before launching a sustained bid that carried to the her front by a nose at the finish in the one-mile-and-70-yard race on a course listed as firm. Archarella and Gala's Bank were second and third, respectively, in a blanket finish.
Eyerish Inspired paid $28.80 to win. When she won at Laurel Park in early April, she retured $19 on top.
Eyerish Inspired, who earned $9,600 for the victory, is the fifth Challenge horse to win at Delaware Park in the past month. The filly moved into the top 10 in contest earnings with $29,901.
Two Laurel Park-based horses won at Delaware Park July 10 to move up on the Fantasy Ownership Challenge standings.
In the fourth race, for $5,000 claimers, Charles Biggs' C B Bodemester, trained by Cal Lynch and ridden by Maryland-based Sheldon Russell, rallied from off the pace to win the $12,000 event at one mile and 70 yards. The Bodemeister 3-year-old in his previous start finished fourth at Laurel for a $11,000 tag against fellow 3-year-olds.
C B Bodemester, who took his Challenge bankroll to $28,815 with the $7,200 first-place check, was claimed by Laurel-based trainer Wayne Potts on behalf of owner Michael Cook. Potts entered one horse at Delaware July 10 and won the race with Big Platinum earlier on the program.
In the eighth race, TW Stable's Hey Willie, trained by Claudio Gonzalez, won a one mile and 70-yard starter allowance event with a purse of $18,250 under Maryland-based jockey Kevin Gomez. Hey Willie earned $10,800 to increase his contest bankroll to $27,425.
Gonzalez is having an excellent Delaware meet with shippers; on July 8 he finished one-two in a $50,000 stakes.
(Photo of video of C B Bodemester winning at Delaware Park)