It's a busy weekend at Laurel Park for horses in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge, with eight scheduled to race.
On Saturday, April 8, three horses are set to compete, all in the seventh race at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. It's the first day of turf racing this year.
Ram Racing Stable's Pardontori'sfrench ($1,650 in contest earnings), Walter Vieser II's Fed Up I'm Fired (no earnings yet) and Old Coach Farm's Eyerish Inspired (no earnings yet) are set to go in the seventh race; the first two show a decent effort or two on turf. Crookit also was entered to run only if the race moved to the main track and is expected to be scratched.
On Sunday, April 9, four horses are entered in three races on the program at Laurel.
Timothy Hopkins's Whiskey Sour, who was victorious March 18 to earn $13,982 and sits sixth in the standings; and MCA Racing Stable's Hey Willie ($1,125), who was fourth behind Whiskey Sour last time out, are entered in the second race. Hey Willie was claimed by leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez March 18 and moves up a notch in the $7,500 claiming event.
Burns Thoroughbred Racing's Banana Anna ($4,725 in contest earnings) is entered in the sixth race off the claim by trainer Willie Kee, and Brian McFarlane's Tiz Majesty ($1,000) is entered in the ninth race on the grass. The latter last time out finished behind standings leader Claravoyant in a maiden special weight event and drops in for a $25,000 claiming tag.
On Monday, April 10, the John Salzman Jr.-owned and -trained My Cotton Jones ($5,775 and 11th in the standings) is entered in the first race at Parx. The purse is $30,000 for the $10,000 claiming race.
We wish you all the best.
Victor Santiago's Supervisor raced to the top of the Fantasy Ownership Challenge standings with an off-the-pace victory over four challengers in the seventh race at Laurel Park April 2.
Trained by Faith Leatherman and ridden by Wesley Ho, Supervisor, who had $7,846 in earnings after his second-place finish when the contest began March 18, banked $22,230 for his victory. The purse for the starter allowance race was $30,000, but Supervisor, a 4-year-old gelding by Super Saver, also was credited with a Maryland-bred bonus, according to Equibase statistics.
Sallie Roberts, one of the fantasy owners who drew Supervisor's name March 18, said she's glad she made the trip to Laurel for Supervisor's follow-up race.
"It was such a beautiful day I had no trouble convincing my husband to come with me to the track," said Roberts, who lives in Ellicott City, Md. "I had placed my bets on Supervisor early so we could go down to the rail early and watch him come to the paddock. He looked great, especially his braids--very classy.
"The race itself was a thrill--I don't think I ever yelled so laud as when Supervisor pulled into the lead and held it down the stretch. We couldn't believe it. Then it was off to the winner's circle, which was a lot of fun. I can't wait for his next start!"
Like she did March 18, Roberts bet Supervisor across the board and was rewarded with payoffs of $12.80 to win, $5.20 to place and $3.20 to show in the five-horse field. Her husband also connected at the betting windows earlier on the program.
Supervisor is the first Fantasy Ownership Challenge horse to win in its subsequent start after the program began on Fantasy Owners Day. The standings here were updated as of the races of April 2. View Race Video.
(Photo by Jim McCue/MJC)
Now that we're about two weeks removed from the kickoff of the Fantasy Ownership Challenge at Laurel Park, contest horses should be reappearing in the entries.
A few already have, and they made enough purse money to move way up in the standings.
One of the special guests on Fantasy Owners Day at Laurel Park March 18 was Bruce Casella, who has worked for ESPN and NBC and currently is the videographer for “Let’s Go Racing,” the weekly television program on Parx Racing that he launched along with Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Sal DeBunda about 20 years ago.
Casella spent most of his day in Maryland shooting video and talking with participants in Fantasy Owners Day and the Fantasy Ownership Challenge. The PTHA, which is the driving force behind “Let’s Go Racing,” is intrigued by the Laurel fantasy contest, which runs through the end of the year, and has expressed interest in organizing a similar one at Parx in the future.
Casella took part in the contest at Laurel, and his fantasy horse, Participate, is second in the earnings’ standings as of March 19. Casella did a nice job capturing Fantasy Owners Day, and you can watch his video here.
The luck of the draw paid off for T. Chris Young and a few others when Triple Tree Stable's Claravoyant won one of six races to kick off the 2017 Fantasy Ownership Challenge at Laurel Park.
Participants in the free Fantasy Ownership Challenge were randomly assigned horses in the six overnight races on the Saturday program, and Claravoyant, trained by Mary Eppler and ridden by Alex Cintron, won the race with the largest purse of $50,000. Claravoyant earned $28,500 for winning the maiden special weight event for fillies and mares and as of March 19 topped the earnings' list for the more than 40 horses that are now part of the contest that runs through Dec. 31 of this year.
About 300 people signed up for events on Fantasy Owners Day—far more than expected—which included a seminar for prospective owners. Many of those eligible to register for the Fantasy Ownership Challenge expressed enthusiasm throughout the day.
We hope you had a great time participating in Fantasy Owners Day at Laurel Park, but it's much more than a one-day event.
Now it's time to track the progress of "your" horse as it competes through the rest of the year, and this website (http://fantasyownership.com) will provide you with the information you need such as regular updates on contest horses, standings based upon official earnings, and blog posts, photos and video to add some color.
Thanks to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Horse Breeders Association, $50,000 is up for grabs in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge. Based solely on horses' U.S. earnings from March 18-Dec. 31 of this year as recorded by Equibase, there's a chance to win $30,000 for first, $10,000 for second, $5,500 for third, $3,000 for fourth, and $1,500 for fifth.