Undefeated Super Love Tops Nominations to Star de Naskra for 3YOs
Laurel to Host Five Stakes Worth $400,000 in Purses Saturday, July 30
LAUREL, Md. – Graded-stakes winners Brooklyn Strong, Informative and Magic Michael and multiple graded-stakes placed Double Crown head a list of 30 horses nominated to the $100,000 Deputed Testamony Saturday, July 30 at Laurel Park.
The Deputed Testamony for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles, being contested for the third straight year after returning to the stakes schedule for the first time since 2008, is the richest of five stakes worth $400,000 in purses on the program and proved most popular among horsemen.
Mark Schwartz’s Brooklyn Strong won the 2020 Sleepy Hollow and Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct to cap his 2-year-old season and, after finishing fifth in the Wood Memorial (G2) in his 3-year-old debut, ran 15th in the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1). In his most recent start, he rallied to be third in the 1 1/16-mile Saginaw July 10 at Belmont Park against fellow New York-breds.
Built Wright Stables’ Double Crown won the Roar and Carry Back and was runner-up in the Smile Sprint (G2) at Gulfstream Park in 2020 before finishing second in the Chick Lang (G3) at historic Pimlico Race Course when it was delayed to the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. He has been first or second in 11 of 18 career starts, including runner-up finishes in the 2021 Maryland Million Sprint as well as back-to-back optional claiming allowances at Churchill Downs after being claimed for $40,000 by owner-trainer Norman ‘Lynn’ Cash June 5.
Morris Kernan, Yo Berbs and Jagger Inc.’s Magic Michael ran second as the favorite in the 2021 Deputed Testamony at Pimlico but rebounded two starts later to capture the 1 ½-mile Greenwood Cup (G3) at Parx. The 5-year-old Dramedy gelding followed up with back-to-back one-mile allowance wins at Parx to end the year but is 0-for-2 in 2022, running third last out in the 1 1/16-mile Battery Park July 9.
Trin-Brook Stables, Inc.’s Informative and stablemate Forewarned, both owned and trained by Uriah St. Lewis, are each nominated to the Deputed Testamony. Informative, 5, has gone winless since his victory in the Salvator Mile (G3) last June, running four times in graded-stakes, most recently last of five to Flightline in the June 11 Met Mile (G1) at Belmont. The 7-year-old Forewarned is a multiple stakes winner against both open and Ohio-bred company, the latest coming in the 1 1/8-mile Excelsior April 2 at Aqueduct.
Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Team Valor International’s Untreated was second by a head in the Excelsior and has since run third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by First Captain, in the historic Pimlico Special (G3) May 20 and third by less than a length to Dynamic One in the July 9 Suburban (G2) at Belmont.
Maryland’s overall leading trainer since 2017, Claudio Gonzalez won the Deputed Testamony in 2020 and 2021 with Harper’s First Ride and this year nominated Danny Chen’s Plot the Dots, a gelded 5-year-old son of champion Uncle Mo that has been third or better in 13 of 20 lifetime starts at Laurel, six of them wins. He exits a fifth in the 1 1/16-mile Find June 19 on the Laurel turf.
Also prominent among nominees are stakes winners Amatteroftime, Rough Sea, Shackqueenking and Tappin Cat; 12-time winner Bustoff and Derby House, whose five-race win streak has come on dirt and synthetic surfaces by 24 ½ combined lengths.
Joining the Deputed Testamony on the July 30 program are four $75,000 stakes restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses – the Star de Naskra for 3-year-olds and Miss Disco for 3-year-old fillies, both sprinting seven furlongs; Ben’s Cat for 3-year-olds and up and Jameela for fillies and mares 3 and older, each scheduled for 5 ½ furlongs on the grass.
John Davison and Eunhee Kim’s undefeated Super Love is being pointed to make his stakes debut in the Star de Naskra after reeling off three consecutive victories at Laurel to open his career. The latest was his most impressive, a front-running 8 ¾-length triumph over older horses in a restricted 5 ½-furlong allowance June 19.
Witty, bred and owned by Liz Merryman and trained by her son, McLane Hendriks, romped to a 7 ¾-length victory in the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid Jan. 29, his only prior trip to Laurel. He returned after some time off to be seventh in the June 3 Penn Mile (G2) on turf and bounced back with a convincing five-length score in the six-furlong Stanton June 29 over Delaware Park’s main track.
Other notable nominees include Local Motive, a stakes winner on turf and dirt unraced since the May 21 James W. Murphy on the grass at Pimlico; Gonzalez-trained Buff Hello, front-running winner of the 2021 Maryland Million Nursery; and 2021 Timonium Juvenile winner Cynergy’s Star, exiting a 4 ¼-length allowance score July 15 at Laurel.
Louis Ulman and Stephen Parker’s Whiteknuckleflyer, the 2021 Small Wonder runner-up riding a two-race win streak; Nail Polish, undefeated through two starts; and Full Moon Lover, a winner of three straight, top 20 nominees to the Miss Disco. Also nominated are Bandits Warrior, a half-sister to retired multiple stakes winner Anna’s Bandit that was third by a half-length in the six-furlong Lewes June 22 at Delaware; June 3 New Start runner-up Golden Tabby; Little Bit of That, a nose shy of three consecutive wins for top trainer Brittany Russell; and Petition Prayer, who rallied to beat her elders in a 5 ½-furlong restricted allowance June 18 at Laurel, her first start in eight months.
The Ben’s Cat attracted 19 nominees including Alwaysinahurry, winner of the 2021 Concern on dirt, and Dale Capuano-trained stablemate Justwaveandsmile, a winner of four straight turf sprints; 2020 Polynesian winner and Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) runner-up Eastern Bay; 2021 Maryland Million Turf Sprint winner Grateful Bred; turf and dirt stakes winner Kenny Had a Notion; 12-time stakes winner Whereshetoldmetogo, 0-for-1 lifetime on turf, and 13-time career winner Stroll Smokin.
Dark Hollow Farm’s defending champion Ellanation is among 14 horses nominated to the Jameela, a race she won by a half-length last year over fellow nominee Dendrobia. Multiple stakes winner Miss J McKay; Can the Queen, winner of the May 20 The Very One and 2021 Sensible Lady sprinting on the Pimlico turf; 2021 Keswick winner Cavalier Cupid; 2021 Maryland Million Ladies winner Epic Idea; and Island Philo, a winner of two straight, are also nominated.
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo of Double Crown by Lauren King