By Maribeth Kalinich
LAUREL, Md.—Country Life Farm’s 5-year-old mare Combat Queen battled her eight rivals for her third straight victory in the Laurel Park Friday Feature, a seven-furlong allowance for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 3 and up.
Trained by Brittany Russell with Sheldon Russell aboard, La Casa D’oro sped to the front, set the pace two wide as That’s Some Kiss with Forest Boyce up prompted the pace three wide outside the leader setting an opening quarter of 23.02.
Rated forwardly while saving ground by Johan Rosado, Combat Queen crept closer after a 46.35 half mile while My Flicker rated by Jevian Toledo was behind runners into the turn angled out.
Who Knows What piloted by Luis Garcia was off the early pace then edged up into the far turn and chased four-wide leaving the five sixteenths.
Combat Queen responded slipping through along the rail to challenge soon into the lane, battled inside a trio heading to mid-stretch, wrested command soon after and edged clear late under a drive.
La Casa D’oro was hooked from both sides in upper stretch, battled on between runners leaving mid-stretch, drifted out late but stayed on well to finish second off by one length. My Flicker put to coaxing ranged up and bid four deep entering the stretch, sparred on a slim lead in mid-stretch to grab the show spot.
Who Knows What shifted out wider for the drive but lacked a serious finish ending up fourth. That’s Some Kiss bid between foes nearing the lane, stayed on to about mid-stretch, angled out and faded to fifth.
Dry Well, Blueberry Indygo and Mit Mazel, who faltered, complete the order of finish of the seven furlong race with a final time of 1:24.90.
Trained by Mike Trombetta, Combat Queen has now been on the board in 21 of 28 lifetime starts.
Combat Queen won a pair of 5 ½-furlong sprints 21 days apart at Laurel with Rosado aboard, the latter a front-running allowance triumph by four lengths Oct. 30. She is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind tepid 5-2 favorite My Flicker, who had a three-race win streak snapped last out when second by a head in a 6 ½-furlong optional claimer Nov. 26 at Charles Town.
Jockey Rosado doubled Friday aboard Awesome View ($8.80) in Race 4 and Combat Queen ($13.80) in Race 8.
Mike Trombetta hit a double himself with Combat Queen and Mose Perfect ($9.80) in Race 6.
The 4-year-old dark bay is by Congrats out of Quiet American mare Starsonhershoulder. The MD-bred filly was purchased for $20,000 at the Fasig-Tipton May 2-yo sale for Country Life’s racing partnerships. An ultra-consistent filly, and after breaking her maiden in her 2nd start, she has career earnings over $178,000
Combat Queen will be retired to the Country Life and Merryland broodmare band at the end of 2022.
The feature was part of the 20-cent Rainbow 6, which spans Races 4-9 and features a carryover jackpot of $965.70.