Laurel Winners Hayes Strike, Uncle Jake in Triple Crown Preps

April 7, 2023

Hayes Strike captures the Private Terms March 18 at Laurel (Maryland Jockey Club)

Maryland Jockey Club Press Release

LAUREL, Md.— Sophomores Hayes Strike and Uncle Jake, each exiting impressive victories at Laurel Park, will look to keep the momentum going in separate Triple Crown preps Saturday.

Dixiana Farms homebred Hayes Strike, trained by Ken McPeek, registered his first stakes victory in the $100,000 Private Terms March 18, rallying after being fanned seven wide for a 1 ¾-length triumph in 1:45.46 for about 1 1/16 miles.

Hayes Strike, whose only prior win was his graduation last August going a mile at Ellis Park, drew Post 5 in a field of 11 for the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland, which carries a total of 200 qualifying points for the May 6 Kentucky Derby (G1) to the first five finishers. Hayes Strike currently ranks 51st with seven points, earned for his third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) last November.

The Private Terms marked a return to dirt for Hayes Strike – also third in the 2022 Street Sense (G3) – after finishing last of nine in the one-mile Leonatus Jan. 21 on the all-weather surface at Turfway Park, a race that produced next-out Gotham (G3) winner Raise Cain, who also returns in the Blue Grass. Hayes Strike is rated at 15-1 on the morning line.

SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital and Catherine Donovan’s Uncle Jake was an eye-catching 9 ½-length maiden special weight winner March 10 going one mile in just his second career start.

By champion Uncle Mo out of the multiple graded-stakes winning mare Tasha’s Miracle, Uncle Jake began his career in California but has been with Laurel trainer Brittany Russell since running fourth in debut Jan. 29 at Santa Anita.

Uncle Jake is entered in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct, having drawn Post 10 of 13 and listed at odds of 20-1 with Maryland-based Jevian Toledo named to ride. He tuned up for what would be his stakes debut with a five-furlong breeze in 59 seconds March 31 at Laurel, the fastest of 31 horses. The Wood also offers a total of 200 Derby qualifying points.

^ Uncle Jake breaks his maiden

A grandson of 2002 Florida Derby (G1) and Blue Grass winner Harlan’s Holiday, who would go on to run fourth in the Preakness (G1), Uncle Jake is also among 27 nominees to the $125,000 Federico Tesio April 15 at Laurel.

For the eighth straight year, the 1 1/8-mile Tesio is a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown nominated horses to the 148th Preakness May 20 at historic Pimlico Race Course. It is one of four stakes worth $450,000 in purses on Laurel’s Spring Stakes Spectacular program.

Nominations Close Saturday for Five April 22 Stakes Worth $500,000

Laurel Park will serve up five $100,000 stakes Saturday, April 22 for 3-year-olds and up including the first three scheduled for its world-class turf course.

Free nominations for all five stakes close Saturday.

The Dahlia for fillies and mares and Henry S. Clark, both scheduled for one mile, and 5 ½-furlong King T. Leatherbury are all scheduled to launch Maryland’s 2023 grass stakes season. Also on the program are the six-furlong Primonetta for fillies and mares and 1 1/8-mile Native Dancer.

Nominations can be sent to stakes coordinator Eleanor Albert at

Ournationonparade, Vance Scholars Top Saturday Feature

Ournationonparade rolls home in the Maryland Million Classic (Maryland Jockey Club)

Morris Kernan Jr., Yo Berbs and Jagger Inc.’s 2022 Maryland Million Classic winner Ournationonparade drops out of stakes company for the first time in seven starts in Saturday’s Race 8 feature at Laurel Park.

Trained and co-owned by Jamie Ness, coming off a Laurel winter meet title, Ournationonparade followed the Classic by running second in the Richard W. Small and Feb. 18 John B. Campbell and third in the Robert T. Manfuso, Jan. 21 Jennings and March 18 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial.

The optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up going about 1 1/16 miles also attracted 2022 Bald Eagle Derby winner Vance Scholars, second in the Classic; multiple stakes-placed Ain’t Da Beer Cold and six-time winner Zabracadabra, favored on the morning line at odds of 9-5.

Timothy Frietag’s three-time winner Happy Clouds, runner-up in the one-mile Beyond The Wire March 18 at Laurel, returns as the 2-1 program favorite in Race 4 Saturday, a six-furlong optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs.

Happy Clouds and Musicmansandy, exiting a sixth in the March 18 Cicada at Aqueduct, are the only two in a field of seven entered for the $62,500 claiming tag. Trainer Bruce Brown ships in Mayhem Miss from New York off a three-quarter-length maiden special weight win March 17 at Aqueduct.

Race 7 is a one-mile allowance for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 3 and up led by 4-year-old Money’s Worth, a 2 ¼-length optional claiming winner Feb. 15 at Tampa Bay Downs for trainer Graham Motion off a 12-month layoff; She Is Wisky, second to multiple stakes winner Luna Belle in the 2022 Wide Country; and 2022 Maryland Juvenile Fillies runner-up Fast Tracked, off the board in two starts this year.

There will be a jackpot carryover of $4,436.49 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 4-9) Saturday. Multiple tickets with all six winners Friday returned $17.28.

Notes: Grade 3 winner Classier ($5.80), racing first off a $40,000 claim for owner-trainer Kieron Magee, rolled to the lead leaving the far turn, opened up through the stretch and cruised to the wire under wraps from jockey Jevian Toledo to win Friday’s Race 6, an optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up, in 1:23.22 for seven furlongs over a main track rated good. Classier won the Los Alamitos Derby (G3) and was third in the Affirmed (G3) in 2021 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert … Toledo also won Friday’s Race 8 finale aboard Preparefortakeoff ($4.80) … Jeffrey Parthemore’s 8-year-old Iywaan ($4.80), bred by Shadwell Farm, earned his 15th win from 41 career starts in Race 7, an optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds up. The winning time for about 1 1/16 miles was 1:44.98.

@jonathanstettin Thank you for your effort on the pick 6 at Gulfstream. I played it w/you for the first time today and you hit it twice!!!!

Gary A. Wernett (@SenorTrifecta) View testimonials