H P Moon goes for second in a row on Saturday (Maryland Jockey Club)
Maryland Jockey Club Press Release
LAUREL, Md.— Three allowance races and a maiden special weight for 3-year-old fillies are on tap as live racing returns to Laurel Park Friday to open the final month of the calendar year-opening winter meet.
Post time is 12:25 p.m.
Seven sophomore fillies are entered in Race 4, a maiden special weight going a one-turn mile. The 2-1 program favorite is Respect the Valleys’ Crimson, a first-time starter by 2015 Pimlico Special (G3) winner Commissioner trained by Brittany Russell. Among the challengers are Sweet Shugs, a Practical Joke filly racing first off the claim for owner-trainer Norman ‘Lynn’ Cash, and Six the Hard Way, by Creative Cause, also claimed out of her last start by trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon.
Race 5 is an optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 5 ½ furlongs that drew eight led by Alexandria Stable and Carguys Racing’s Unified Alliance. Trained by Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner John Servis, the Unified filly broke her maiden first time out in mid-December and was beaten a neck in a 6 ½-furlong optional claimer Jan. 24, both at Parx. Mopo Racing’s And Whistle steps up after a front-running five-length victory in a six-furlong maiden claimer Feb. 4 at Laurel. Among those in for a $62,500 tag are three-time winners Liquidator and Happy Clouds.
Fillies and mares 4 and up will sprint six furlongs in Race 6, a wide-open allowance where five of the six horses are 7-2 or less on the morning line led by 5-2 top choice Western Lane, who dead-heated for third following a sluggish start in a seven-furlong allowance Feb. 10 at Laurel.
The feature comes in Race 8, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance for 4-year-olds and up where seven-time winner Torch of Truth chases a third straight victory. Trained by Michael Trombetta and owned by his wife, Marie, the 8-year-old gelding most recently scored by five lengths going one mile Feb. 5. Also entered are 2021 Harrods Creek winner Everett’s Song, racing first time since November 2021; multiple stakes-placed Excellorator; 9-year-old gelding Bobby G, a 16-time winner – 13 at Laurel – from 68 starts; Jan. 21 Jennings winner Plot the Dots and Irish Cork.
There will be a carryover of $6,268 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 Friday, which spans Races 4-9.
Laurel will serve up nine races again Saturday, when KEM Racing Stable and Five Hellions Farm’s 4-year-old ridgling H P Moon drew outermost Post 6 in Race 8, a second-level optional claiming allowance for 4-year-olds and up sprinting 5 ½ furlongs. Trained by Lacey Gaudet, H P Moon registered a nose victory going six furlongs Jan. 22 at Laurel in his first start in 12 months.
Saturday is also closing day for nominations to five stakes worth $450,000 in purses scheduled for March 18 at Laurel led by the $100,000 Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds and $100,000 Beyond the Wire for 3-year-old fillies. Also on the program are three stakes for older horses – the $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial, $75,000 Not For Love and $75,000 Conniver, the latter two for Maryland-bred/sired horses.
Laurel will open its doors at 10 a.m. Saturday to accommodate an early 11 a.m. post from Gulfstream Park for its 14-race Fountain of Youth (G2) day program of nine stakes, eight graded, worth $1.85 million in purses. The Fountain of Youth for 3-year-olds has a post time of 5:43 p.m.