Wednesday, November 21, 2012


BOLD AFFAIR LOOMS ABOVE STAKES WINNERS IN THURSDAY’S GEISHA STAKES


LAUREL, MD. 11-21-12---Thanksgiving traditions: turkey dinner, NFL games and thoroughbred racing at Laurel Park. The central Maryland track offers a special 11:05 a.m. post time Thursday with a nine-race card, highlighted by the $100,000 Geisha Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares.

All seven runners in the one mile Geisha have stakes victories on their resumes, including even money favorite Bold Affair. The daughter of Two Punch comes into the Geisha off a dominating 13-1/4 length victory in the Maryland Million Distaff Handicap, her fourth stakes score of the year. Earlier this year, the Howard Wolfendale trainee took the Conniver, Primonetta and Skipat Stakes. Abel Castellano will be aboard for the ninth straight race.


“I really like her long stride. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like she is going that fast but it is because her stride is so long,” Castellano said before Wednesday’s card. “She has been training well since her last race and I am pretty confident that she should be able to get the distance without any problem. I am very excited for the race.”

Catch a Thief (3-1) won the Plugged Nickel Stakes at Aqueduct in March and has competed in graded company since with in the money finishes in the Allaire DuPont Distaff (G3) at Pimlico and the Bed Of Roses Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park. Tim Hills trains the Flatter mare. Harry Vega will ride.

Baltimore Belle (6-1) is the defending champion in the Geisha but that was the last time the daughter of Bowman’s Band has visited the winners’ circle. She began her 5-year-old campaign with three runner-up finishes but has failed to hit the board since finishing second to Bold Affair in the Conniver on March 10. Julian Pimentel will ride for trainer Mike Trombetta.

Trombetta will also saddle Music Please (15-1), who finished fourth behind Bold Affair on Maryland Million day. The daughter of Bowman’s Band won the 2010 Squan Song Stakes while in the Rodney Jenkins stable but has since changed barns four times. Horacio Karamanos has the riding assignment.

Access To Charlie (8-1) has won twice over optional allowance claimers since emerging victorious in the Twixt Stakes in 2011 for trainer Larry Murray. Jeremy Rose, who was aboard the Indian Charlie filly in the 2011 Twixt, has the mount.

Plum (10-1) won the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship 11 months ago at Laurel Park. The daughter of Pure Prize has one win in six tries during her sophomore campaign. Jenkins named Sheldon Russell to ride.

Charles Town shipper Bayonne (12-1) captured the Pink Ribbon Stakes in September. The Dance With Ravens offspring has finished in the money eight times in nine starts this year. Erick Ramirez makes the trip in to ride for trainer Jeffery Cramer.

The day also features the 25th annual pie giveaway (pumpkin or apple) after the fifth race at both Laurel and its sister track, Pimlico Race Course. Free donuts with coffee or cider will also be available from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Laurel’s terrace dining room will feature a traditional, home-style Thanksgiving buffet for $24.99.

The holiday week continues with racing Friday and Saturday. Friday afternoon features free admission for all men as part of the “Guys Day Out” promotion, which includes half-priced draft beers and giveaways. Fans will have an opportunity to win tickets to the 138th Preakness Stakes on May 18, 2013 and the Baltimore Ravens-New York Giants game on December 23.

Saturday’s card will be headlined by the $125,000 Gin Talking Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.



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