Saturday, December 10, 2011


GEISHA STAKES, GIVING TREE & CALENDAR GIVEAWAYS TOP SATURDAY CARD


LAUREL, MD. 12-09-11---Five stakes winners are among the seven fillies and mares entered in the $75,000 Geisha Stakes at Laurel Park, where Christmas gets off to a galloping start on Saturday afternoon.

Lucky fans selected throughout the day choose a wrapped package from the Giving Tree, which will display $10,000 worth of mystery gifts including flat screens, iPads, game systems and other prizes. Racing fans also receive a free 2012 Maryland Racing Calendar featuring photos of the past year’s racing highlights.


Love’s Blush is the 9-5 favorite to win the one mile Geisha for Maryland-breds. Third in this race last year, the daughter of Not For Love was the recent winner of the Maryland Million Ladies, run over the turf at Laurel, on October 1. Abel Castellano Jr. picks up the ride for trainer Rodney Jenkins, who wins at a 27% clip with horses that have been off more than two months.

In her most recent start, Baltimore Belle (5-2) carried Rosie Napravnik to victory in Laurel’s Lady Baltimore over the yielding turf. The winner of last year’s Maryland Million Oaks regains Julian Pimentel as her rider. Mike Trombetta trains the Bowman’s Band filly.

“The jury is still out on whether she is better or the turf or dirt. She is a stakes winner on both,” Trombetta said. “She has had a good campaign for us. We took a few chances and ran her in graded company but she has been really good in restricted races.”

Fools In Love (9-2) captured the Orleans Stakes at Delta Downs last year and went back to the Louisiana track last month to finish fourth in the Treasure Chest Stakes. The Not For Love mare carries Horacio Karamanos for trainer Kelly Breen.

Squan Song Stakes winner Art of the Hunt (6-1), who has faced Maryland-breds in her past three starts, is a late closing runner stabled with Frannie Campitelli. Sheldon Russell has the mount.

Lily Quatorze (6-1) finished second to Art of the Hunt in the Squan Song and was fourth, one spot behind Fools In Love, in the Maryland Million Distaff. Mario Pino rides for trainer Taryn Tagg.

The entry of Access To Charlie and Alpha Darlin are listed at 6-1. Access To Charles beat Art of the Hunt to win the Twixt Stakes, her most recent start. Forest Boyce rides this half of the Larry Murray entry. Alpha Darlin, a daughter of Alphabet Soup, carries Malcolm Franklin.


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