LAUREL, Md. – McElmore Avenue, riding a four-race win streak, and Grade 2 winner Shotski highlight the second of three straight allowance events as live racing returns to Laurel Park with a special Thursday program Feb. 25.
Thursday’s 10-race card was rescheduled in its entirety when Laurel’s Feb. 19 program was postponed due to inclement weather. First race post time is 12:25 p.m.
Trained and co-owned by Mary Eppler, McElmore Avenue has put together three straight victories after being claimed for $16,000 out of a victory last November. After winning on or near the front end, the 4-year-old gelding had to rally from off the pace after being shuffled back early.
Alexander Crispin, the 2020 Eclipse Award winner as champion apprentice, will be aboard for the fourth straight time in the second-level optional claiming allowance for older horses going about 1 1/16 miles in Race 8.
Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, Pantofel Stable and Mike Karty’s Shotski is making his first start at Laurel Park since a maiden triumph in October 2019, and just his second anywhere in nearly a year. He won the 2019 Remsen (G2) at 2 and was second in the Withers (G3) and fourth in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at 3 before going to the sidelines. Eleven months later he faded to eighth in a Jan. 15 optional claimer at Aqueduct.
The 9-5 program favorite is Siena Farm’s homebred Dudley Square, trained by seven-time Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher. Dudley Square is coming out of a three-quarter-length triumph in an open, entry-level allowance going one mile Jan. 22 at Laurel.
Also on Thursday’s card are an optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies in Race 7 that drew a field of nine led by Wonderwall, a winner of her last two races at Laurel by a combined 17 ¾ lengths; and a 5 ½-furlong allowance for Maryland-bred/sired older horses in Race 9 which attracted a wide-open field of 10 led by lukewarm favorite Stone Courageous.
There will be a carryover of $823.25 in the $1 Super Hi-5 for Race 2. The 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 5-10) starts anew after being solved by one lucky bettor for a jackpot payout of $15,173.12 during Laurel’s last live program Sunday, Feb. 21.
Live racing continues at Laurel Friday through Sunday, Feb. 26-28.
Laurel Park Entries for Thursday, February 25
Laurel Park Press Release
Shotski (Maryland Jockey Club)