Stakes Winners Among 24 Noms to $100,000 Spectacular Bid

January 15, 2022

Seven-Furlong Sprint First Stakes for 3-Year-Olds on Maryland Calendar
Total of Six Stakes Worth $550,000 in Purses on Saturday, Jan. 29 Program
Live Programs Scheduled for Sunday, Martin Luther King Holiday Monday

LAUREL, MD – Juvenile stakes winners Cooke Creek, Joe, Local Motive, Shake Em Loose and Witty, along with H P Moon, impressive winner of his lone career start, are among 24 horses nominated to the $100,000 Saturday, Jan. 29 Spectacular Bid at Laurel Park.

The seven-furlong Spectacular Bid is one of six stakes worth $550,000 in purses set to kick off Maryland’s 2022 stakes calendar. It is the first in Maryland’s series of stakes for 3-year-olds on dirt, followed by the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 19, 1 1/16-mile Private Terms March 19 and 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio April 16.

Cheyenne Stable’s Cooke Creek, based at Laurel with trainer Jerry O’Dwyer, won the Rocky Run at Delaware Park and was second in the Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct before closing 2021 running third in Aqueduct’s Jerome.

The Elkstone Group’s Joe was a 1 ½-length winner of the Dec. 18 Maryland Juvenile at Laurel in his stakes debut over Alottahope (second), Coastal Mission (third), Mr. Mox (fourth), Local Motive (fifth), One Ten (sixth) and Shady Munni (eighth), all of whom are also nominated.

Bird Mobberley’s Local Motive won the Hickory Tree on turf at Colonial Downs and the James F. Lewis III on dirt at Laurel last year. J R Sanchez Racing Stable’s Shake Em Loose was a 59-1 upset winner of the Dec. 26 Heft at Laurel, while Liz Merryman’s Witty has won two straight including the Dec. 7 Pennsylvania Nursery at Parx.

Five Hellions Farm’s H P Moon, a bay Malibu Moon ridgling, romped by 9 ¾ lengths in his Aug. 21 unveiling at historic Pimlico Race Course before going to the sidelines. He has been training steadily at Laurel for his return

Sophomore fillies will sprint six furlongs in the $100,000 Xtra Heat, which attracted 16 nominations led by Hope Jones’ Buy the Best, a winner of four consecutive races to cap her juvenile season capped by the six-furlong Smart Halo Nov. 13 and seven-furlong Gin Talking Dec. 26 at Laurel.

Maryland Million Lassie winner Buff My Boots; Maryland Juvenile Fillies winner Luna Belle; Happy Soul, winner of her maiden and the 5 ½-furlong Astoria last spring and summer by a combined 23 ¼ lengths; and stakes-placed Beneath the Stars, Click to Confirm, Moody Woman ad Sparkle Sprinkle are also nominated.

Older horses will sprint six furlongs in the $100,000 Fire Plug and $100,000 What a Summer, the latter for fillies and mares. The 18 Fire Plug nominees include Grade 3 winners Hopeful Treasure and Wondrwherecraigis as well as multiple stakes winners Jaxon Traveler, Penguin Power, Threes Over Deuces and Whereshetoldmetogo.

Hibiscus Punch, 41-1 upset winner of the Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3) last February at Laurel, tops a list of 24 nominations to the What a Summer that includes stakes winners Club Car, Don’t Call Me Mary, Dontletsweetfoolya, Jakarta, Kaylasaurus and Princess Kokachin.

Completing the stakes action are a pair of one-mile events for Maryland-bred/sired horses, the $75,000 Jennings and $75,000 Geisha for females. Hillwood Stable’s Cordmaker, who ended 2021 with wins in the Richard W. Small and Robert T. Manfuso at Laurel, heads a dozen nominees to the Jennings, while multiple stakes winners Artful Splatter and Kiss the Girl are prominent among 15 nominations to the Geisha.

Live Programs Scheduled for Sunday, Martin Luther King Holiday Monday

Laurel Park has 10-race live programs scheduled for Sunday.

Post time has been moved to 12:10 p.m. through January of Laurel’s winter meet.

A pair of allowance races highlight Sunday’s card. Race 8 is an entry-level spot for 4-year-olds and up sprinting six furlongs that drew a field of eight led by narrow program favorite American Unity, a winner of two straight. Race 9 is a one-mile event for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 4 and older where last-out winner Mit Mazel is the 9-5 morning line favorite.

Laurel Park Press Release

Photo: Shake Em Loose (Laurel Park Photo)

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