Laurel Park Brings Top Hitters To Stakes-loaded Weekend

March 6, 2023

Coffeewithchris prances to the finish in the Miracle Wood. (Maryland Jockey Club photo)

• Coffeewithchris, Prince of Jericho Top $100k Private Terms Nominees
Laurel’s Next Stop for Sophomores on Road to 148th Preakness Stakes (G1)
• Among Five Stakes Worth $450,000 in Purses Saturday, March 18
• Five-Pound Apprentice Jeiron Barbosa Rides Five Winners Sunday
• Live Racing Returns Friday, March 10: 12:40 P.M. Post Starting March 12

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – Multiple stakes winner Coffeewithchris and Triple Crown-eligible stakes winners Arctic Arrogance and Prince of Jericho top 24 3-year-olds nominated to the $100,000 Private Terms at Laurel Park.

Contested at about 1 1/16 miles, the Private Terms is among five stakes worth $450,000 in purses on a Saturday, March 18 program that includes the $100,000 Beyond The Wire for 3-year-old fillies, $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial for 4-year-olds and up and a pair of $75,000 sprints for Maryland-bred/sired horses – the Not For Love and Conniver.

The Private Terms is the next step on Laurel’s road to the 148th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 20 at historic Pimlico Race Course, preceded by the Jan. 21 Spectacular Bid and Feb. 18 Miracle Wood and followed by the $125,000 Federico Tesio April 15, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the Preakness.

John Salzman Jr., Fred Wasserloos and Anthony Geruso’s Coffeewithchris, trained by Salzman, won the Heft to cap 2022 and exits a victory in the one-mile Miracle Wood, both over Prince of Jericho. The Ride On Curlin gelding was also second as the favorite to Prince of Jericho in the Spectacular Bid.

Michael Dubb and Morris Bailey’s Prince of Jericho is one of seven Triple Crown-eligible nominees to the Private Terms and one of six horses from the barn of Brittany Russell, recently named Maryland’s Trainer of the Year for a second straight year.

Circling The Drain scores in a $57,000 AOC at Laurel Park Feb. 20. (Jim McCue/MJC)

Other Russell nominees are Circling the Drain, a two-length allowance winner Feb. 20 at Laurel, and Fort Warren, third in the Jan. 29 San Vicente (G2) at Santa Anita for previous trainer Bob Baffert, both Triple Crown-nominated; claiming winners It’s Viper, Johnnyfrenchfri and Roan Burgundy, a debut winner at Pimlico last fall.

Also prominent among Private Terms nominees are New York-bred stakes winner Arctic Arrogance, second in three straight stakes including the Remsen (G2) and Withers (G3); B West, third in the Spectacular Bid and fourth in the Miracle Wood; Hayes Strike, third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and second in the Street Sense (G3) last year for trainer Ken McPeek; Joey Freshwater, third in the Jimmy Winkfield Feb. 11 – all Triple Crown-nominated.

Recruiter remains undefeated in four career starts while capturing the $75,000 Parx Juvenile on January 3 at Parx. (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

Recruiter and Howgreatisnate are also nominated after suffering their first career losses in the March 4 Gotham. Howgreatisnate won both the First State Dash and Future Stars last year but stumbled at the start of the Gotham and lost rider J.D. Acosta. Recruiter won the James Lewis at Laurel and Parx Dash in 2022 but wound-up 11th in the Gotham in his sophomore debut.

The one-mile Beyond The Wire is Laurel’s next race for 3-year-old fillies leading up to the 99th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 19 at Pimlico, following the Jan. 21 Xtra Heat and Feb. 18 Wide Country and preceding the $125,000 Weber City Miss April 15, which offers the winner an automatic berth in the Black-Eyed Susan.

Chickieness taking the Maryland Million Lassie under Jaime Rodriguez at Laurel Park on Oct. 22, 2022. (Maryland Jockey Club Photo)

Among the nominees are 2022 Maryland Million Lassie winner Chickieness, runner-up in both the Xtra Heat and Wide Country; Cairo Sugar, winner of the one-mile Maddie May Feb. 19 at Aqueduct; Jan. 14 Gasparella winner Opus Forty Two; 2022 Maryland Juvenile Fillies runner-up Fast TrackedGormley’s Gabriela, third in the Wide Country; and We’ll See, third in the Xtra Heat.

Double Crown winning the G2 Kelso at Belmont at the Big A Oct. 29, 2022. (/NYRA/Coglianese)

Grade 2 winners Brooklyn Strong and Double CrownRepo Rocks, riding a three-race win streak including the Jan. 28 Toboggan (G3); multiple graded-stakes placed Doppelganger, and multiple stakes winners Armando R, Nimitz Class, Ournationonparade and Shake Em Loose are among 26 older horses nominated to the one-mile Harrison Johnson.

Double Crown and Ournationonparade are also nominated to the six-furlong Not For Love along with such horses as Eastern Bay, winner of the Feb. 18 General George (G3) at Laurel; 2021 Maryland Million Sprint winner Air Token; 2022 Howard & Sondra Bender Memorial winner Alwaysinahurry; 2021 Jimmy Winkfield winner Hello Hot Rod; 2020 Maryland Million Sprint Karan’s Notion; and multiple stakes winner Kenny Had a Notion.

Fille d’Esprit winning the Politely Stakes at Laurel Park Nov. 25, 2022. (Jerry Dzierwinski/MJC)

C J I Phoenix Group and No Guts No Glory Farm’s Fille d’Esprit, recently named Maryland’s champion older female, sprinter and Horse of the Year, tops 19 nominees to the seven-furlong Conniver. A 14-time career winner of more than $735,000 in purse earnings, the 7-year-old mare was most recently second by a half-length in the Feb. 18 Barbara Fritchie (G3).

Also, among the nominees are Fillie d’Esprit’s Jerry Robb-trained stablemates Award Wanted, winner of the Jan. 21 Geisha winner Award Wanted and second in the Feb. 18 Nellie Morse, and eight-time stakes winner Street Lute along with 2022 Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap winner Mavilus; multiple stakes-placed Paisley Singing and Response Time, a winner of two straight.

Jeiron Barbosa. (Maryland Jockey Club Photo)

Live racing returns to Laurel Park Friday, March 10. Post time moves to 12:40 p.m. starting Sunday, March 12, with Laurel’s calendar year-opening winter meet set to run through Friday, March 31.


Five-pound apprentice Jeiron Barbosa opened Sunday’s card with a natural hat trick, winning aboard Backstreet Affair ($6.20) in Race 1, Dialing Dixie ($5.80) in Race 2 and Pit Stop Man ($5) in Race 3. An Eclipse Award finalist for champion apprentice of 2022, Barbosa added a fourth winner with Lady Jean ($10.40) in Race 6, and a fifth on Grass Cutter ($9.20) in the Race 8 finale. 

Barbosa broke a 34-34 tie atop the winter meet rider standings with Jaime Rodriguez, who had one winner Sunday … 

There will be a $10,481.69 carryover in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 when live racing returns Friday, March 10. Multiple tickets with all six winners Sunday each returned $1,164.32.

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