Triple Tree Stable's Claravoyant didn't win May 13 at Pimlico Race Course, but her solid third-place finish in a $23,000 starter allowance event padded her bankroll enough to give her a slight lead in the Fantasy Ownership Challenge standings.
Based on official earnings compiled weekly by Equibase, it's crowded at the top of the list of roughly 40 horses assigned to fantasy owners by random draw March 18 at Laurel Park. As of May 14, the gap between fifth-place and first-place was roughly $3,500.
The previous leader, Victor Santiago's Supervisor ($30,077), was a program scratch from a starter allowance event May 12 at Pimlico, while Timothy Hopkins' Whiskey Sour, third with $29,375, was a main-track-only entrant in a May 14 race that was run on the grass at Pimlico.
Gunpowder Farm's promising 4-year-old filly Indian Paint, who broke her maiden in her last start to shoot up to fourth with $28,300 in earnings, is scheduled to compete for big money Friday, May 19, on Black-Eyed Susan day at Pimlico. Indian Paint, trained by Kelly Rubley, is entered in the third race, a $52,000 entry-level allowance test at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt.
Maiden and allowance purses get a bump Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness Stakes days, and Indian Paint, to be ridden again by Feargal Lynch, has an opportunity to capitalize in her first start around two turns.
Rounding out the top five is Mens Grille Racing's Crookit, who won last time out and has $27,457 in contest earnings.
On May 18 in the fifth race at Pimlico, Mrs. Frank Wright's Grace Isabella ($2,700 in contest earnings), trained by Robin Graham, is 6-5 on the morning line to break her maiden in a waiver claiming event. Grace Isabella is not in for a tag because the connections of Maryland-bred or -sired horses have the right to waive it under the conditions, and on top of the winner's share of the $33,000 purse, she's eligible for a 30% Maryland bonus.
If you are planning to attend on Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness days, note that first post time Friday is 11:30 a.m. and on Saturday it's 10:30 a.m. The Maryland Jockey Club assembled a loaded 14-race program for Friday; the Preakness day card will be drawn May 17.
Note: If you have a fantasy horse, remember you are always welcome to come down to the winner's circle should your horse win. Just let someone there know you are part of the Fantasy Ownership Challenge.
(Indian Paint photo by Tom LaMarra)
In his third start as a member of the Fantasy Ownership Challenge stable, MCA Racing Stable's Hey Willie took advantage of a drop in class, grabbed the early lead and rolled home to win a $5,000 claiming race May 13 at Pimlico Race Course. He defeated second-place finisher Turbin by 8 3/4 lengths and appeared to relish the sloppy track.
The 5-year-old Wilburn gelding was claimed by MCA and trainer Claudio Gonzalez for $5,000 at Laurel Park March 18, kickoff day of the Challenge. He finished a good third behind two-time contest race winner Whiskey Sour in his last start, also at Laurel.
It only takes one win for a horse to put itself in thick of things in the standings. Hey Willie entered Saturday's first race with $3,015, good for 23rd in the standings, and exited with $11,655 in contest earnings. Hey Willie is now 14th on the list for the contest that runs through Dec. 31.
(Photo by Tom LaMarra)
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)