Laurel Park’s Saturday program includes both the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship and the $125,000 Dave’s Friend Stakes.
Dave’s Friend Stakes has seven runners named to start including the 8-5
program favorite, This Ones for Phil. Rick Dutrow sent the 6-year-old
to Laurel in February for the General George Stakes (G2) and they picked
up a check for finishing second. The Untuttable gelding has earned
better than $750,000 with nine wins in twenty-six starts. He comes into
Saturday’s six-furlong event off a second place finish in Aqueduct’s
Fall Highweight Handicap (G3). Erick Rodriguez has the mount.
Villano (7-2) and Immortal Eyes (4-1) finished second and third in
October’s Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, then switched positions in
the Fabulous Strike Handicap at Penn National, finishing second and
Villano won the Chick Lang Stakes on the Preakness undercard and has
finished off the board just twice this year. Kendrick Carmouche will
ride the Susan Crowell trainee.
Eyes has three stakes victories at Charles Town this year for trainer
Damon Dilodovico. The 7-year-old has been first or second in 22-of-37
lifetime starts. Sheldon Russell will be aboard the son of Greatness.
has been really consistent for us but we are concerned about how the
race will unfold with an inside post (Immortal Eyes will break from post
2),” Dilodovico said. “He has not won at Laurel (0-for-3) but I think
he has run some of his best races here.”
Fiddlers Afleet (4-1) ran a 99 Beyer Speed figure during a second place finish at Aqueduct earlier this month and was claimed for $75,000 by trainer Rudy
Rodriquez. The New York bred has won two restricted stakes this year,
one at Belmont Park and one at Saratoga. Angel Arroyo has the riding
race came up really strong,” added Dilodovico. “Ricky Dutrow’s runner
is strong, Rudy will be tough with his claim and Il Villano has run well
all year. My guy is really good at 4-1/2 with a heart of a lion to get
him that extra furlong and a half. He is nasty as a snake and when he is
put to task he comes up for us.”
Rounding out the field are Wolfcamp (8-1), Broad Rule (12-1) and My Charming Clyde (20-1).
colts and geldings are entered in the 7-1/2 furlong Juvenile
Championship. Dale Capuano trains morning line favorite Lunar Rock
(3-1), who comes into the race off back-to-back allowance scores. The
son of Cherokee’s Boy, who has never finished out of the money in eight
starts, was third in both the Maryland Million Nursery and the Laurel
always runs his race and is there every time,” Capuano said. “He’ll do
anything: turf, dirt, long, short and whatever you need him to do from a
pace standpoint though he is a little better coming off the pace. The
race seems to be evenly matched but I think he is going to run well.”
first four finishers from the Maryland Million Nursery are entered,
including winner Keep Momma Happy (15-1), runner-up Alpha Mike Foxtrot
(5-1) and D C Dancer (5-1), who was fourth.
Peeds in a Pod (4-1) sped away in MSW sprint here on Dec. 12 that timed 2/5 second faster than an allowance race on the same card.
Awesome Devine (9-2) is two-for-two, including an allowance score over Alpha Mike Foxtrot and D C Dancer at Laurel in late November.
Also expected to face the starter are Hamp (8-1), Hanky Doodle (12-1), Indian Bucks (20-1) and Saints Preserve Us (30-1).