Jester Calls Nojoy Remains on Course for $100,000 Juvenile Fillies
LAUREL, Md. – An extra two weeks has done little to slow down Coleswood Farm, Inc.’s Coastal Mission or dampen the enthusiasm of his connections heading into Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Juvenile at Laurel Park.
The 40th running of the Maryland Juvenile and 35th edition of the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Fillies, both for Maryland-bred/sired horses sprinting seven furlongs, serve as co-headliners on a nine-race program that begins with a 12:25 p.m. first post.
Both races were originally carded for Dec. 4 before racing was paused to allow for maintenance on Laurel’s main track. Live racing resumes Thursday.
Based at Charles Town with trainer Jeff Runco, a winner of more than 4,500 career races, Coastal Mission romped by 6 ½ lengths in his Sept. 25 debut going 4 ½ furlongs over his home course. He ran second, beaten two lengths, in the Maryland Million Nursery Oct. 23 at Laurel, his most recent race.
Pointed directly to this spot out of the Maryland Million, Coastal Mission has breezed three times since at Charles Town. All three have been the fastest on the day, including three furlongs in 35.60 seconds Dec. 3 in his latest move.
“He’s doing great and ready to go,” Runco said. “These delays happen, unfortunately, but it gave him a little bit more time. He’ll be ready for Saturday.”
By Great Notion out of the Crowd Pleaser mare Smart Crowd, Coastal Mission is a full brother to Runco-trained Lewisfield, a West Virginia-bred who earned eight of his nine career wins in Maryland including all four of his stakes victories as well as his career finale last November before being retired to Virginia.
“They’re both good-looking horses but they don’t have the same personality,” Runco said. “They’re both very athletic and all that. Lewisfield was a pretty tough horse. He was kind of ornery. This horse isn’t like that. He looks good and he’s doing good.”
Another horse with strong lineage is No Guts No Glory Farm’s Alottahope, a half-brother to stablemate Street Lute, an eight-time stakes-winning 3-year-old filly also trained by Jerry Robb. Alottahope has raced once, a professional 2 ¾-length triumph Nov. 13 in an off-the-turf maiden special weight sprint at Laurel.
Also entering the Juvenile off victories are Local Motive, Joe, One Ten and Royal Spy. Bird Mobberley’s Local Motive is a two-time stakes winner, taking the five-furlong Hickory Tree on the Colonial Downs turf Aug. 2 in his second start, and most recently gutting out a head victory in the six-furlong James F. Lewis III Nov. 13 at Laurel.
The Elkstone Group’s Joe, a homebred Declaration of War colt, was a popular 3 ½-length maiden special weight winner going a mile Nov. 21 at Laurel. One Ten and Royal Spy exit split divisions of a seven-furlong waiver maiden claimer Nov. 26 at Laurel, with Royal Spy winning in 1:25.35 and One Ten in 1:26.20.
Robert D. Bone and Edward J. Brown Jr.’s Shady Munni has encountered trouble in each of his two most recent starts, finishing third as the favorite after bobbling at the start of a one-mile optional claiming allowance Nov. 21 at Laurel. Prior to that he was bumped early and wound up fourth in the Nursery.
“[Last race] he stumbled a little bit when the gate opened and he grabbed himself a little and lost a shoe,” trainer Claudio Gonzalez said. “Even with that, he ran good. He came back good, and that is more important. He has been doing good to now. He’s a nice horse.”
Trainer Jamie Ness entered the trio of Mr. Mox, a two-time winner that ran fifth in the Nursery, and Delaware Park maiden winners Uncle Irish and Crabs N Beer. Gallant Gold, Kobe Tough and Wish Me Home round out the group.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher has kept the The Elkstone Group’s homebred Jester Calls Nojoy on target for the Juvenile Fillies. A bay daughter of Maclean’s Music, she will be getting some class relief after running sixth in the Oct. 3 Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park and fifth in the Oct. 29 Myrtlewood at Keeneland in her most recent efforts.
Jester Calls Nojoy shows a steady string of half-mile works over Belmont’s training track since her last start, including 50.88 seconds Dec. 4 and 49.66 Dec. 11, as she chases her first stakes victory.
“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to continue training as normal,” Pletcher said. “We’ve gotten two breezes into her since the race was originally carded, so hopefully we have her fit and ready to go.”
Luna Belle, Sparkle Sprinkle and Sweet Gracie all faced off in the Oct. 23 Maryland Million Lassie and are entered to meet again in the Juvenile Fillies. Eric Rizer homebred Sparkle Sprinkle was third by a length, a head in front of Luna Belle. Sweet Gracie wound up eighth after forcing eventual winner Buff My Boots early.
Deborah Greene and trainer Hamilton Smith’s Luna Belle, a homebred daughter of Great Notion, returned to be second in the Nov. 13 Smart Halo at Laurel, beaten 3 ¼ lengths by Buy the Best but 7 ½ lengths clear of third-place finisher Click to Confirm, who also comes back in the Juvenile Fillies.
Tee N Jay Stable’s Dazzy, like Jester Calls Nojoy, has maintained a regular work schedule at Belmont ahead of what will be her stakes debut in her second career start. The Divining Rod filly was a 12-length winner of a restricted maiden special weight Oct. 29 at Belmont and tuned up for the Juvenile Fillies with a half-mile breeze in 48.45 seconds over its training track Dec. 11, ranking ninth of 117 horses.
Completing the field is Three M’s Racing and Rafael Lopez’s Preparefortakeoff, a maiden special weight winner sprinting seven furlongs two starts back Oct. 21 at Laurel.
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Top Photo: Jester Calls Nojoy breaks her maiden at Saratoga on September 5, 2021. (NYRA/Coglianese)