LAUREL, MD – Twilight Gleaming and Chardy Party, graded-stakes winning stablemates trained by Wesley Ward, top eight stakes winners among 44 nominees to the $100,000 Stormy Blues Sunday, June 19 at Laurel Park.
The 5 ½-furlong Stormy Blues for 3-year-old fillies headlines three stakes worth $250,000 in purses, each scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course, which drew a total of 85 nominations.
Also on the special Father’s Day program are a pair of 1 1/16-mile stakes restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses 3 and up – the $75,000 All Brandy for fillies and mares and $75,000 Find.
Stonestreet Stables’ Twilight Gleaming, bred in Ireland, was Group 2-placed in England at 2, having run second in the Queen Mary last June at Royal Ascot in her third career start. She raced once more in Europe, beating the boys in France before duplicating the feat when she found firm ground at Del Mar to spring a front-running upset in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2).
Twilight Gleaming has run twice this year, finishing second against males in the April 10 Palisades at Keeneland before beating fillies in the May 14 Mamzelle last out.
Stonestreet also owns Chardy Party, another Irish-bred that is undefeated in two starts, both this year after going unraced at 2. She overcame a slow start to rally for a half-length victory in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight April 27 at Keeneland, then came from off the pace again to capture the seven-furlong Soaring Softly (G3) by a neck May 28 at Belmont Park.
Ward also had five other nominees to the Stormy Blues including Castleton Lyons’ homebred Chi Town Lady, winner of the 5 ½-furlong Bolton Landing last August at Saratoga; Andrew Farm, For the People Racing Stable and Windmill Manor Farm’s Her World, who debuted with a win over males in the Tyro, and CJ Thoroughbreds’ Miss Alacrity, popular winner of the Colleen against fillies; both five-furlong turf stakes came last summer at Monmouth Park.
Hope Jones’ Buy the Best, based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., is nominated to make her turf and sophomore debut in the Stormy Blues. The bay daughter of Tapiture won four straight races to end her juvenile season including back-to-back stakes at Laurel, the six-furlong Smart Halo and seven-furlong Gin Talking.
Big Lick Farm’s Cavalier Cupid won the Keswick last summer at Colonial Downs and was off the board after chasing the pace in a June 4 optional claiming allowance sprinting 5 ½ furlongs on the Laurel turf, her first start in nearly nine months. Waterville Lake Stables’ homebred Derrynane won last fall’s Woodbine Cares before finishing fourth by a length in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint and fifth by two lengths as the favorite in the Soaring Softly.
Also prominent among Stormy Blues nominees are stakes-placed American Starlet, Click to Confirm, Crazyland, Fifth Anniversary, Moody Woman, Poppy Flower, She Is Wisky, Sweet Gracie and Whiteknuckleflyer; as well as Fly Me Home, Mac the Pee H Dee and Slot Queen, each riding two-race win streaks.
Defending champion Somekindofmagician heads 18 nominees to the Find. Bell Gable Stable’s Maryland-bred became a stakes winner in last year’s Find, which capped a three-race win streak. He capped 2021 by getting his nose down on the wire in a three-way photo finish with Johng and Street Copper to win the Maryland Million Turf last October, his most recent start. Johng and Street Copper are also nominated.
Other nominees include B Determined and Beltway Bob, respective winners of the 1 1/8-mile Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap in 2021 and 2020; last year’s Find runner-up Nick Papagiorgio; Cannon’s Roar, multiple stakes-placed Cannon’s Roar, fourth by a half-length as the favorite in last year’s Maryland Million Turf; and Double Crown, a two-time stakes winner and twice graded-stakes placed sprinting on dirt yet to run on turf.
Vivian Rall’s homebred Epic Idea is being pointed to the All Brandy after back-to-back turf sprints to open 2022, including a second by a neck to stablemate Whispurring Kitten June 4 at Laurel. Epic Idea was a half-length winner of the 1 1/8-mile Maryland Million Ladies on the Laurel turf last fall.
Among other nominees are Awesome Jazz, second by a neck to Kiss the Girl in last year’s All Brandy; Can the Queen, winner of the five-furlong The Very One on the grass at historic Pimlico Race Course May 20; Click to Confirm; Coconut Cake, third by two lengths in the one-mile Dahlia April 23 at Laurel; 2021 Jameela runner-up Dendrobia; Gennie Highway, promoted winner of the 2020 Maryland Million Ladies over Epic Idea; I’m Blushing, a winner of two straight for leading trainer Brittany Russell; No Mo Lady, third in the 2020 Gallorette (G3); multiple stakes-placed Quiet Imagination; and She Is Wisky.
Laurel Park will next host a live, nine-race card Friday, June 10 starting at 12:40 p.m. In the lineup are a pair of 5 ½-furlong allowances in Race 5 on dirt and Race 7 on turf led by respective program favorites Sugar Gray Leonard and Hard to Be Humble; and an optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies in Race 8 that attracted A Mo Reay, third in the 2021 Frizette (G3) making her second start this year for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher.
Maryland Jockey Club Press Release
Photo: Chardy Party/ Walter Wlodarczyk