Monday, September 12, 2016

Laurel’s Opening Weekend a Success

Elusive Joni Sneaks Up Rail to Capture Laurel’s Sunday Feature
Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5 Carryovers for Friday’s Nine-Race Program

– The opening weekend of Laurel Park’s fall meet was a success with a 50-percent increase over last year’s opening weekend while racing an additional day.

Total handle on Laurel’s three-day opening weekend was $7 million, compared to last year’s two-day opening of $3.5 million. Laurel’s Saturday program included six stakes and $525,000 in stakes purses.

Racing continued Sunday and was highlighted when jockey Trevor McCarthy guided Non Stop Stable’s Elusive Joni through an opening on the rail in mid-stretch and pulled away to win the featured ninth race at Laurel Park.

The $45,000 optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and older was the third win this year over older horses for the sophomore daughter of Colonel John, who ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:01.24 on a firm All Along Turf Course.

“You never know on the turf. I told Trevor to just try and get a good trip. That’s the big thing,” trainer Gary Capuano said. “We knew she could compete in here, at least we thought she could move up. She got a great trip and everything worked out. She’s a nice filly.”

Class Edge and Deliver Me battled on the lead through a quarter-mile in 22.31 seconds and a half in 45.04 with Elusive Joni tucked in along the rail. Class Edge drifted out while still in front after turning for home, allowing McCarthy the time and space to shoot through and assume the lead, sprinting clear to win by three lengths.

For Finery rallied to finish second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of Class Edge, who held off Hug a Tree by a head for third. Rkaya, the 9-5 favorite in her North American debut making her first start in 13 months, broke slowly but moved into contention between horses on the turn before flattening out and finished seventh.

Elusive Joni ($6) now has three wins and two seconds in five starts since returning from a 5 ½-month layoff in mid-June and being moved to the grass on the advice of McCarthy, who has been aboard for each of her turf victories.

“I hate to admit it, but I’ve got to give Trevor that. Trevor came and worked her one morning, and she works great on the dirt. He said, ‘Did you ever try this filly on the turf?’” Capuano said. “Everything just kind of worked out right. I had planned on running her in a dirt race and he said try her on the turf, the race came up and I stuck her in it and she won. She’s just been great ever since.”

Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5 Carryovers for Friday

There will be carryovers in 20-cent Rainbow 6 and 50-cent Late Pick 5 when live racing resumes with a nine-race program Friday at Laurel Park.

First race post time is 1:10 p.m.

No one selected all six winners in the Rainbow 6 Sunday, growing the jackpot carryover to $2,319.02. Tickets with four of six winners returned $126.28.

The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 60 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 40 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

Friday’s Rainbow 6 covers Races 4-9 and includes a $45,000 optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up at one mile on the main track featuring Mister Diz Stakes winner John Jones and multiple stakes-placed Flash McCaul in Race 7, and a $42,000 allowance for grass sprinters 3 and up at 5 ½ furlongs on the Exceller Turf Course that attracted a field of 16.

The Late Pick 5, which offers an industry-low takeout of 12 percent, will have a carryover of $3,373.26 starting in Race 5. Tickets with four of five winners Sunday returned $66.45.

Notes: Jockeys Trevor McCarthy, Jevian Toledo and Alcibiades Cortez each posted riding doubles Sunday. McCarthy was first with High Roller ($15.60) in the eighth race and Elusive Joni ($6) in the ninth, Toledo won aboard Jewelisa ($22.80) in the fourth and Charlie Bravo ($xxxx) in the 10th, and Cortez visited the winner’s circle on Mediador ($20.20) in the third race and Grand Notion ($26) in the fifth.

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