Saturday Stories from Laurel Park

June 30, 2024

Gogo Chanel with Jerion Barbosa up going to post for Race 5 Saturday at LaurelPark. (Maribeth Kalinich Photo)

Jockey Rodriguez scores two wins plus second and thirds on the day

By Maribeth Kalinich

It was a steamy summer day at Laurel Park Saturday, but you couldn’t have had a better day of racing.

With nine races on the card including the Star De Naskra Stakes the day kicked off with a Starter Option Claimer and an upset win the Krakow Racing’s Mid Day Image for trainer Mertkan Kantarmaci.  The son of Midhipman rewarded with $7.20 for the win with Angel Cruz up and One Whirlwind Ride paying $17.00 for show under Jean Gregor Briceno.

Lugamo Racing Stable’s Luigi’s Spirit under Andres Chavez took the second race for Rodolfo Sancheez-Salomon paying $5.40. Jaime Rodriguez got up for third in Race 2 aboard Magical Monarch as he did in Race 1 aboard Doctor Jeff.

In Race 3 at 1-1/16 miles on turf Jorge Ruiz rocketed to the win aboard The Estate of Albert Frassetto’s Cinder Block by 5-3/4 lengths for trainer Graham Motion just .29 seconds off the track record.

Jaime Rodriguez finally got up for the win in Race 4 for Jamie Ness aboard Shell Belle by 2-1/4 lengths over Sweet Heidelberg with Briceno up.

Greyledge Thoroughbreds’ Princess Javoncia stalked and rallied to win driving home by 1-3/4 lengths piloted by Horacio Karamanos to win Race 5 for trainer Elizabeth Merryman while Jamie Rodriguez nipped another second place by a neck aboard Diva Ready over a super rally by Gogo Chanel with Jerion Barbosa up.

Rodriguez would triumph again in Race 6 after a duel between his mount Charles Blanford and Russell Tester’s Bourbon N Lace, First Pearl with J.G. Torrealba up and Grayson’s Girl with Angel Cruz aboard. The Anthony Pecoraro trainee Bourbon N Lace paid a tasty $13.80 for the win.

The big story of Race 6 was owner Cindy Middleton who came all the way from Lubbock, Texas to see her filly, Grayson's Girl, run. Bumped and even bitten(!), she managed to get third for trainer Brittany Russell. (April Smith Photo)
The big story of Race 6 was owner Cindy Middleton who came all the way from Lubbock, Texas to see her filly, Grayson’s Girl, run. Bumped and even bitten(!), she managed to get third for trainer Brittany Russell. (April Smith Photo)

6-year-old gelding Chrissy Cousin Brill’s John the Bear would roar to the win in an upset in Race 7 with J.G. Torrealba in the irons. Stalking the leader for the trip the Ferris Allen paid whopping $30.80 for the win. Meanwhile Swill with Sheldon Russell in the saddle and Five Dreams battled for second with the former prevailing by a neck. Both were claimed out of the race for $40,000 each.

Hamilton Smith watching live racing in the Clubhouse at Laurel. His Celtic Commander was getting ready for his start in the 8th. (April Smith Photo)
Hamilton Smith watching live racing in the Clubhouse at Laurel. His Celtic Commander was getting ready for his start in the 8th. (April Smith Photo)

In the feature race, the Star De Naskra Stakes Celtic Commander with Victor Carrasco up hit the wire first but were DQ’d back to third for interference making Rising Sun Racing Stables’ Play Harder the stakes champion under J.G. Torrealba for trainer Claudio Gonzalez. 

The short-lived victory of Celtic Commander in The Star of Naskra Stakes. Stewards Inquiry revealed that Hamilton Smith trainee had bumped the horse next to him several times at the start. (April Smith Photo)
The short-lived victory of Celtic Commander in The Star of Naskra Stakes. Stewards Inquiry revealed that Hamilton Smith trainee had bumped the horse next to him several times at the start. (April Smith Photo)

But it was Race 9 the closer on the card that would be the star of the day as trainer Caitlin Keil scored with Catch the Kitten ridden by Johan Rosado. Keil was also the winning owner with her father Steven Keil. 27-year-old Caitlin actually just obtainer her trainers license making her first start at Laurel Park Feb. 2 with Fainor’s Filets who finished third. And also gave Keil her first win in March. With eight starts she has earned two wins and a third.

Katie Kiel gives her 9th race winner, Catch the Kitten a nice post-race sponging off. (April Smith Photo)
Caitlin Keil gives her 9th race winner, Catch the Kitten a nice post-race sponging off. (April Smith Photo)

With mounts in all nine races on the card jockey Jaime Rodriguez scored well with two wins plus a second and two third places.

Race 6-#7 Bourbon N Lace (Trainer Anthony Pecoraro, Jaime Rodriquez up) gets to the wire first. (April Smith Photo)
Race 6-#7 Bourbon N Lace (Trainer Anthony Pecoraro, Jaime Rodriquez up) gets to the wire first. (April Smith Photo)

On the day, my friends and I hung out with former jockey Frank Douglas who won the 1996 Laurel Futurity aboard Captain Bodgit and received a hug from legendary King T. Leatherbury.

There were quite a few families with a lot of kids enjoying the festivities and refreshments. 

It was a great day at Laurel Park!

From left to right, standing: Frank Douglas, Marilyn Bobby and April Smith. Sitting: Michele Parsells and Maribeth Kalinich. (Maribeth Kalinich photo)
From left to right, standing: Frank Douglas, Marilyn Bobby and April Smith. Sitting: Michele Parsells and Maribeth Kalinich. (Maribeth Kalinich photo)

Contributing Authors

MariBeth Kalinich, Senior Editor, Past the Wire

Maribeth Kalinich, Senior Editor, Graphic Designer

Maribeth Kalinich grew up in a family with a love for horses, a passion for Thoroughbred horse racing and a taste for playing the ponies....

View Maribeth Kalinich, Senior Editor, Graphic Designer

All you folks that didn't get in on the @jonathanstettin webinar are missing out. Amazing stuff here. Time to get hot tomorrow!!

Drawls E Moore @dmoore9350 View testimonials

Facebook

Comments

Leave a Comment