For the first time in several weeks, there was little movement in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge standings as the Laurel Park winter/spring meet came to a close May 7.
That could change when Maryland racing moves to Pimlico Race Course for the 12-day Preakness meet beginning May 11. On opening day, two horses in the top 10—Supervisor and Professor Zoom—are set to square off in Thursday's eighth race, a starter/optional claiming event at six furlongs.
Victor Santiago's Supervisor, trained by Faith Leatherman, would come back on short rest; the standings leader with $30,077 finished seventh in a tougher entry-level allowance race at Laurel May 5. Big Bertha Stable's Professor Zoom (ninth in the standings with $16,273 in earnings) won a $16,000-$12,000 claiming race at Laurel April 21 in his last start for trainer Damon Dilodovico.
Two other contest horses are entered on opening day at Pimlico: Maryland City Racing's Gethot Stayhot ($2,145), trained by Richard Sillaman, has a chance to make some headway in the standings in race two for $5,000-$4,500 claimers, while owner/trainer Brandon McFarlane's Tiz Majesty ($1,810) is on the also-eligible list for race three, a turf race for maiden claimers.
The Pimlico meet will be 12 days this year, with live racing May 11-14, May 18-20, and May 25-29. All the stakes will be held May 19-20 headed by the grade II Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Friday and the grade I Preakness Stakes for 3-year-olds Saturday.
If you haven't done so, be sure to sign up for Virtual Stable at Equibase.com to get regular updates on when your fantasy horse is entered, as well as information on scratches, results and workouts. We will continue to send individual emails when horses are entered.
And remember, earnings count when fantasy horses race elsewhere. Some have competed and made some money at Parx Racing and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia. You could also see a few compete at Monmouth Park, the New Jersey track that opens May 13, and Delaware Park, which begins its meet June 3.
There is a short break in the action in Maryland after the Pimlico meet concludes on Memorial Day, as Laurel opens for its summer meet June 9.
(Photo by Tom LaMarra)
Two horses that sit in the top five in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge are scheduled to race May 5-6 at Laurel Park.
Victor Santiago's Supervisor, who leads the list of more than 40 horses with $30,077 in contest earnings, is entered Friday, May 5, in a $42,000 entry-level allowance race for trainer Faith Leatherman. The 5 1/2-furlong race, the eighth on the card, is listed for the grass, but with more than one inch of rain possible for central Maryland Thursday night into Friday it remains to be seen whether the race will be remain on the grass.
Triple Tree Stable's Claravoyant ($28,500), who broke her maiden in a $50,000 event March 18, the first day of the Fantasy Ownership Challenge, is entered in the seventh race Saturday, May 6, a starter/optional claiming event at one mile on the turf. Trained by Mary Eppler, the 4-year-old filly hasn't raced since her maiden victory.
Also entered in the same race is Joan Everett's Participate, who also won March 18 to kick off the contest but returned to finish sixth in an allowance race for trainer Jason Egan. Participate, who last year performed well on the turf at Laurel, ranks sixth in the standings with $21,077 in earnings.
Other contest horses in the Laurel entry box are Old Coach Farm's Eyerish Inspired (eighth in the standings with $16,302 in earnings) in the seventh race Thursday, May 4; Jose Corrales and Didier Placiencia's El Manut ($6,805) in the fourth race Friday; MCA Racing Stable's Hey Willie ($3,105) in the fifth race Saturday; and Kathleen Dibben's Brilliant Choice ($1,650) and Stronach Stables' Segovia ($575) in the fourth race Saturday.
Hey Willie and Segovia are listed as main-track-only entrants in their respective turf races.
(Photo by Jim McCue/MJC)
Colony Strike, who finished second March 18 in one of the first Fantasy Ownership Challenge races, broke through with a victory April 27 at Laurel Park in his third start for owner/trainer Michael Catalano Jr., who claimed the gelding for $4,500 on kickoff day.
The win pushed Colony Strike's contest earnings to $13,028, which moved him from 20th to 11th in the standings. Third in the race was two-time contest winner Whiskey Sour, who finished a strong third to bank $2,175; that pushed his contest earnings to $29,375, good for second behind Supervisor in the standings.
Whiskey Sour has new connections after the April 27 effort. He was claimed by trainer Richard Sillaman on behalf of owner Gregory Wood.
(Photo by Jim McCue/MJC)
The 4-year-old Maryland-bred filly Crookit had shown a liking for off tracks heading into the fourth race at Laurel Park April 24, and it paid off big time when she rallied from last to comfortably win a $35,000 allowance event for state-bred fillies and mares.
The winner's share of the purse in the one-mile race pushed her Fantasy Ownership Challenge earnings to $27,457, which moved her from 13th to fourth in the standings for the contest that runs through Dec. 31 of this year.
Crookit, who finished second to Participate in a $16,000 claiming event when the contest kicked off March 18, is trained by Linda Albert and was ridden by apprentice Carlos Carrasco. Participate, who was unplaced in the Sunday race, is sixth in the standings.
Crookit, who paid $20.20, $8.80 and $5.60 across the board as the fifth choice in the wagering in a field of six, had returned to the paddock for shoe repair before the start.
(Photo by Tom LaMarra)
It took Big Bertha Stable's Professor Zoom 1:11.88 for six furlongs to go from 20th to eighth in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge standings with a victory in the third race at Laurel Park April 21.
Ridden by Steve Hamilton for trainer Damon Dilodovico, who now has 12 wins in 45 starts during the Laurel winter/spring meet, Professor Zoom found room along the rail to defeat fellow contest horse Legends Hope by a half-length. Slick William, the third contest horse in the $16,000-$12,500 claiming race, checked in sixth.
Professor Zoom, who won for the first time since Sept. 24, 2016, banked $13,110 to push his contest earnings to $16,273. Legends Hope got on the board with $6,279 for finishing second, while Slick William collected $460.
(Photo by Jim McCue/MJC)
Twelve horses in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge are entered in races at three tracks—Laurel Park, Parx Racing and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races—Friday, April 21, Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23.
Here's a rundown of the upcoming action by track:
In Friday's third race, three contest horses are among the seven entered in the six-furlong claiming event with a purse of $23,000. All of them are coming out of the same key race won March 18 by Danny Limongelli's Flight Crew, who is sixth in the standings with $16,388 in earnings and is scheduled to return in Friday's fifth race.
Victor Santiago's Supervisor, who finished second to Flight Crew, was a winner in his subsequent and currently tops the Challenge standings with $30,077. The three horses entered in the third race—Big Bertha Stable's Professor Zoom ($3,163), Wasabi Ventures Stables' Slick William ($863), and Burning Daylight Farms' Legend's Hope (no contest earnings yet)—finished third, fifth and seventh, respectively, behind Flight Crew and Supervisor March 18.
Flight Crew, meanwhile, is among the program favorites in a $23,000 starter allowance/optional claiming event at seven furlongs.