Nine races on the card Thursday, Sept. 30 at Laurel
LAUREL, Md. – After launching her career with back-to-back wins 19 days apart, the connections of Mopo Racing’s promising 3-year-old filly Moquist will take their time seeking out her next spot.
Trainer Dale Capuano said Sunday that the undefeated daughter of 2015 juvenile male champion and 2016 Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist exited her Sept. 24 victory at Laurel Park in good order.
“It didn’t seem to take much out of her at all. Like her first race, she felt really good right after she ran,” Capuano said. “She was pretty fit when she ran both times, so those races haven’t hurt her. We’re hopeful that she’ll keep improving and be a nice filly for us.”
Moquist, bred in Maryland by trainer Katy Voss and the late Bob Manfuso, was purchased for $50,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Eastern Fall Yearling Sale in October 2019 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, where she debuted 23 months later in a front-running 1 ¼-length maiden special weight triumph going 6 ½ furlongs Sept. 5.
Facing older and more experienced horses last out, she again led from start to finish to win by four lengths as the second choice in a field of eight that included Fool Yourself, a four-time winner from eight starts, and Lady Fox and Olive’s Bumpa, each with 26 career races. The winning time for seven furlongs was 1:22.30.
“The difference with that race was that she had only run once and she was running against horses that were a lot more seasoned than she was,” Capuano said. “You never know how that’s going to work out but she did it well within herself. She can definitely get better as we go, hopefully.”
Though both of Moquist’s races were won on the front end, Capuano said it was more a matter of circumstance and that she could rate, which would benefit her as the races get longer.
“She can go either way. Right now, those horses she’s racing with she’s just a little bit faster than them it looks like. We’ll probably at some point get her stretched out,” Capuano said. “I like to start them at those longer distances. Six and a half [furlongs] was perfect at Timonium. I’ve had good luck running my young horses seven-eighths or 6 ½ for their first start. She went 6 ½ and seven so I would think she could go a mile or a mile and a sixteenth or a mile and an eighth. I don’t think it would be much of an issue.”
Capuano said he would likely pre-enter Moquist in either or both the Maryland Million Distaff sprinting seven furlongs on dirt and the Maryland Million Ladies going 1 1/8 miles on the grass. The 36th Jim McKay Maryland Million program will be held Saturday, Oct. 23 at Laurel.
Though Moquist is Maryland-bred, she is not sired by a Maryland Million-eligible stallion meaning she would be put on an also-eligible list to run. Races open up to Maryland-breds only when less than eight Maryland Million-eligible horses are entered.
“I’m not sure what we’ll do with her at this point. She’s not Maryland-sired, and the [Distaff] you’re looking at Hello Beautiful at seven-eighths. There’s some pretty tough horses in there,” Capuano said. “I guess she would have a chance at getting in because you have to have eight Maryland Million horses to lock it out, but who knows. I’m sure I’ll nominate her to that and I’ll nominate her to the turf race going a mile and an eighth, but really don’t know what we’ll do.
“We’ll see how she does when she gets back on the track and what comes up and just play it by ear. We’re not in any hurry,” he added. “The Maryland Million is just one day. Hopefully she’ll turn out well for us and it’ll all be good.”
A career winner of 3,577 races, Capuano is the all-time leading Maryland Million trainer with 13 victories. Two of them came last year with Kenny Had a Notion in the Nursery and Jumpstartmyheart in the Turf Distaff Starter Handicap.
“We might have a few. Cannon’s Roar, hopefully we can get a race into him before then. We’ve been rained out a few times. He’s been very unlucky that way,” Capuano said. “He’s one and probably Sue Loves Barbados. Possibly Kenny Had a Notion if he comes back around. We’ll see. He’s going to race Friday and we’ll see how he does. Maybe a 2-year-old. As we get closer, we’ll see how it shakes out. I don’t think I’m as strong this year as I was last year, but that can change. You never know.”
Live Racing Returns Thursday, Fall Festival of Racing Set for Saturday
Nine races, six scheduled for its world-class turf course, are on tap when live racing returns to Laurel Park Thursday.
A total of 98 horses were entered Thursday including 70 on the grass, an average of 11.6 starters per turf race. Grass racing will be conducted over the All Along and Dahlia layouts.
Thursday’s feature comes in Race 8, a third-level optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up sprinting 5 ½ furlongs on the All Along. Among the field of 10 are Five Hellions Farm’s Dontletsweetfoolya, a multiple stakes winner on dirt making her turf debut in her first start since June 13; Can the Queen, winner of the five-furlong Sensible Lady Turf Dash July 24 at Pimlico; New York-bred stakes winner Robin Sparkles; and Dendrobia and Quiet Company, respectively 2-3 in in Pimlico’s July 4 Jameela. Multiple stakes winner Needs Supervision, unraced since March 6, is entered for main track only.
Thursday’s Race 3 is a maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies going 5 ½ furlongs on the Dahlia that attracted 13 entries including six first-time starters and Determined Hope, a $350,000 2-year-old in training purchase in May winless in her first two tries. A second maiden special weight comes in Race 7 for juvenile fillies sprinting 5 ½ furlongs on the main track led by Towser, a homebred daughter of Into Mischief making her second start and first on dirt, and first-time starter All in Jest, a Stuart Janney III homebred trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey.
There will be carryovers of $2,554.55 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 and $837.08 in the $1 Super Hi-5 for Thursday’s program.
Laurel will host Fall Festival of Racing Saturday, Oct. 2 featuring five turf stakes worth $600,000 in purses co-headlined by the $150,000 Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds and $150,000 Selima for 2-year-old fillies, each going 1 1/16 miles.
Notes: The Walk ($6.20), a 7-year-old gelding owned and trained by Damon Dilodovico, registered his fourth consecutive victory in Sunday’s Race 3, an entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up. In his 33rd career start and first since July 30, The Walk ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.86 over a fast main track … Jockey Carlos Lopez tripled Sunday aboard Honor My World ($56.80) in Race 1, Fair Catch ($7.80) in Race 7 and Aprilness ($9.60) in Race 8.
David Joseph/MJC Press Office
Photo: Moquist winning an Allowance at Laurel Park September 24 under Jorge Ruis after breaking her maiden on September 5 at Laurel. (Maryland Jockey Club)