Whereshetoldmetogo winning last year’s edition of the Bender by a neck. Photo by Jim McCue/MJC
Sprint Stakes for Maryland-Bred/Sired Horses Friday, Nov. 25 at Laurel . . . Ruiz Rides Sunday Hat Trick . . . Triple Carryovers for Monday’s Live Card
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
LAUREL, Md. – Defending champion Whereshetoldmetogo, a 13-time career stakes winner, and graded-stakes winners Cordmaker and Double Crown top 24 horses nominated to the $75,000 Howard & Sondra Bender Memorial Friday, Nov. 25 at Laurel Park.
The seven-furlong Bender for 3-year-olds and up and $75,000 Politely for fillies and mares 3 and older sprinting six furlongs, both restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses, come on the first of back-to-back stakes days over Thanksgiving weekend.
Laurel will serve up three $100,000 stakes Saturday, Nov. 26 – the 1 1/8-mile Richard W. Small for 3-year-olds and up, City of Laurel for 3-year-olds and Safely Kept for 3-year-old fillies, each going seven furlongs.
A 7-year-old gelding owned by Madaket Stables, Ten Strike Racing, Michael Kisber and BTR Racing, Inc. trained by Laurel fall meet leader Brittany Russell, Whereshetoldmetogo owns 17 career wins but had a four-race win streak snapped when second by a half-length as the favorite in a 5 ½-furlong allowance Oct. 29 at Delaware Park.
Whereshetoldmetogo has won eight of 11 career starts at Laurel – seven of those victories coming in stakes – and is 4-for-6 lifetime going seven furlongs including last year’s Bender, his most recent attempt, when he rallied for a popular neck triumph. He lost for the first time this year last out, following wins in the Not For Love and an optional claiming allowance at Laurel and the Alapocas Run and New Castle at Delaware.
Hillwood Stable’s Cordmaker ran sixth in a one-mile optional claiming allowance Nov. 4 at Laurel, his first start in 259 days since becoming a graded-stakes winner in the Feb. 19 General George (G3), also at seven furlongs. The gelded 7-year-old son of two-time Horse of the Year and 2014 Hall of Famer Curlin has won 14 lifetime races, 10 of them in stakes.
Both Whereshetoldmetogo ($967,795) and Cordmaker ($990,880) are chasing the $1 million mark in lifetime purses.
Built Wright Stables’ Double Crown sprung a 42-1 upset of the one-mile Kelso (G2) Oct. 29 at Aqueduct just seven days after finishing fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Maryland Million Classic at Laurel. Owned and trained by Norman ‘Lynn’ Cash, he is joined by three of his stablemates as nominees – 2021 Maryland Million Classic winner Monday Morning Qb,exiting an optional claiming allowance triumph Nov. 7 at Laurel; 2020 Polynesian winner Eastern Bay, a stakes runner-up in three of his last four starts including the Vosburgh (G2) and Bold Ruler (G3) at Aqueduct; and Going to the Lead.
Also prominent among nominees are Oct. 22 Maryland Million Classic winner Ournationonparade, scratched from the Claiming Crown Jewel Nov. 12; 2021 Maryland Million Sprint winner Air Token, third by a neck in last year’s Bender; multiple stakes winner Tappin Cat; 2021 Concern winner Alwaysinahurry; and 2020 Maryland Million Sprint winner Karan’s Notion.
Trainer John ‘Jerry’ Robb has won the past two runnings of the Politely with Anna’s Bandit (2019) and Princess Kokachin (2021) and has one of 21 nominees for this year’s race in CJI Phoenix Group and No Guts No Glory Farm’s Fillie d’Esprit. The 6-year-old Great Notion mare has earned nine of her 11 lifetime wins at Laurel including two of her four stakes wins, most recently in the Oct. 22 Maryland Million Distaff.
Divine Huntress, a 3-year-old daughter of Divining Rod owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Long Valley Stables and trained by Graham Motion, is nominated for her first start since running fourth in the Aug. 26 Charles Town Oaks (G3). She won the seven-furlong Miss Disco against Maryland-bred/sired horses July 30 at Laurel one start after finishing second Belmont Park’s Acorn (G1).
Holly Hill Stables’ Edie Meeny Miny Mo, runner-up in the 2021 Monmouth Oaks (G3), gave trainer Michelle Hemingway her first career stakes winner in the July 2 Regret at Monmouth Park. She ended a 2 ½-month break between starts finishing second in an open six-furlong allowance Oct. 30 at Laurel behind multiple stakes winner Dontletsweetfoolya.
Among other Politely nominees are Aug. 27 Timonium Distaff winner Breviary; Combat Queen, a winner of back-to-back 5 ½-furlong sprints at Laurel, the latter Oct. 30; stakes-placed Juror Number Four and Startwithabang; and multiple stakes winner Malibu Beauty, entered in Laurel’s Nov. 12 Thirty Eight Go Go.
Notes: Jockey Jorge Ruiz scored a Sunday hat trick aboard Prowling Tiger ($5.40) in Race 3, Mavilus ($3.40) in Race 4 and 23-1 long shot Imaginthekiss ($49) in Race 6 … Jockey Sheldon Russell doubled with Chromeplated Heart ($3.20) in Race 1 and Rocket One ($7.40) in Race 7 … Burning Daylight Farms and Rebecca Galbraith’s Prowling Tiger, a $190,000 son of Kitten’s Joy, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:52.12 over a Dahlia turf course rated good to capture the maiden special weight for 2-year-olds in her second career start … Paul Fowler’s Intrepid Dream ($11.40) pulled away from favored pacesetter Sofia’s Secret through the stretch for a xxx length triumph in Sunday’s featured Race 8, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up. It was the third straight win and second in as many starts this year off a 14-month layoff. The winning time was 1:45.65 over a fast main track … The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 19th consecutive racing day Sunday, growing the carryover jackpot to $32,385.86 for Monday’s eight-race program that begins at 12:15 p.m. Tickets with five of six winners Sunday returned $112 … There will also be carryovers of $13,260.68 in the 50-cent Late Pick 5 and 958.22 in the $1 Super Hi-5 wagers.