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Sunday, March 25 2012


EIGHTTOFASTTOCATCH CAPTURES HARRISON JOHNSON MEMORIAL STAKES FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR


LAUREL, MD. 03-24-12---Sylvia Heft’s Eighttofasttocatch had to work hard for it, but at the finish he was the repeat winner of the $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes, the closing day feature at Laurel Park.

Under guidance by the meeting’s leading rider Sheldon Russell, the son of Not For Love was quick to assume the lead in the 1-1/8th mile test. Nearing the far turn Cherokee Artist pushed inside the leader and got to the front, setting up a duel that would not be decided until the final furlong, where Eighttofasttocatch put away his rival and won in 1:53.43 over a surface rated good. Cherokee Artist finished a length back in second and Indian Jones was another 2-1/2 lengths back in third.





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Thursday, March 22 2012


EIGHTTOFASTTOCATCH TOWERS OVER RIVALS IN HARRISON JOHNSON MEMORIAL STAKES


LAUREL, MD. 03-22-12---Defending champion Eighttofasttocatch has a mile and an eighth to dispense with five rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes, the closing day feature of the winter meeting at Laurel Park.

Eighttofasttocatch (4-5) won five races at Laurel in 2011, including four stakes races, with an average Beyer Speed figure exceeding 100 and finished fourth in the voting for Maryland-bred Horse of the Year behind graded winners Ben’s Cat, Ask the Moon and Havelock.





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Wednesday, March 21 2012


107-1 LONGSHOT CAPTURES WEDNESDAY FINALE


LAUREL, MD. 03-21-12---Janon Fisher III’s Wire Funds was completely overlooked in the wagering, as he entered the starting gate for the Wednesday finale at odds of 107-1 but the oversight meant nothing to the home-bred when he launched a furious rally to post the surprising victory.

The Maryland-bred 4-year-old, who was ridden by Geovany Garcia, was one for eighteen lifetime and had not won a race since breaking his maiden at Charles Town last July. Last racing into the far turn, he picked his way forward and was up in time to beat Alston Gunter by a half-length.





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Sunday, March 18 2012


Private Terms Stakes/Turf Season Begins On St. Patrick’s Day


Dogwood Stable’s Raconteur caught Hakama in the final jump to win the $100,000 Private Terms Stakes, the feature offering on a spring-like, St. Patrick’s Day afternoon at Laurel Park.

Raconteur raced behind the first four runners into the turn, then launched his bid four wide into the lane, slowly edging toward Hakama until the very shadow of the wire, winning by a head. Brimstone Island finished another 1-3/4 lengths back in third.





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Friday, March 16 2012


DEAD HEAT HIGHLIGHTS FRIDAY CARD


LAUREL, MD. 03-16-12---Milwaukee Chief and Arctic Raven provided a thrilling finish to today’s seventh race at Laurel Park, hitting the wire together in a dead heat.

Milwaukee Chief appeared to be the winner of the $13,000 claimer after gaining the lead late but Arctic Raven loomed on the outside and closed determinedly and was up at the wire as the duo crossing the line simultaneously. Let Me Be Frank was just a nose behind the winners in third.





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NINE CLOSELY MATCHED THREE-YEAR-OLDS MEET IN PRIVATE TERMS STAKES


LAUREL, MD. 03-15-12--- Saturday feature, the $100,000 Private Terms Stakes, has come up a wide open affair as nine 3-year-olds are slated to race one mile over Laurel Park’s main track.

Dangerous Lad (5-2), a New York based son of Bob and John, is two for three lifetime with an impressive maiden victory at Woodbine and a strong win over optional claimers at Aqueduct in late January. Trainer John Terranova has named Abel Castellano to ride.





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Wednesday, March 14 2012


TURF SEASON BEGINS SATURDAY AFTERNOON


LAUREL, MD. 03-14-12---In a sure sign that spring has arrived, Saturday afternoon’s card at Laurel Park will include the first two turf races of the year, exactly one week before the end of the winter meeting.

“I was very excited when my turf man (Robbie Mitten) came to into the office last week and said it was possible for us to run on the grass during the final week of the meet,” Maryland Jockey Club Racing Secretary Georganne Hale said. “We had been telling trainers it was not going to happen until we got to Pimlico for the spring meet but we were able to give some advance notice on the overnight and got two full fields.”





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Friday, March 09 2012


BALTIMORE BELLE, BOLD AFFAIR HEADLINE CONNIVER STAKES


LAUREL, MD. 03-08-12---With eleven named to start, the spotlight is on open stakes winners Baltimore Belle and Bold Affair in Saturday’s $75,000 Conniver Stakes at Laurel Park, which is restricted to Maryland-bred fillies and mares.

They will be joined at the start by state-bred stakes winners Access to Charlie, Art of the Hunt and seven other runners in the 7-furlong test on the main track.





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Saturday, February 25 2012


THE LUMBER MAN HEADLINES SATURDAY’S MIRACLE WOOD STAKES


LAUREL, MD. 02-24-12---The numbers jump off the page on The Lumber Man, the 7-5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $100,000 Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park. The 7-furlong test drew a field of nine colts and geldings.

The Lumber Guy earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90 in his only start, a maiden win at Aqueduct last month for trainer Michael Hushion. The son of Grand Slam showed early speed against restricted company before drawing off to a 9-1/4 length victory. Julian Pimentel gets his first chance on the colt.





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Tuesday, February 21 2012


DUTROW RUNNERS FINISH ONE-TWO IN GENERAL GEORGE HANDICAP


LAUREL, MD. 02-20-12---Yawanna Twist and This Ones for Phil, from the powerful New York barn of trainer Rick Dutrow finished one-two respectively in today’s President’s day feature at Laurel Park, the $200,000 General George Handicap (G2).

Yawanna Twist, who finished fourth in the 2010 Preakness Stakes (G1), was winning a stakes for the first time for Steel Your Face Stables. Ridden by Mike Luzzi, the son of Yonaguska chased stablemate This Ones for Phil and jockey Ramon Dominguez down the backstretch, moved to the rail and held that position to the top of the stretch, then rallied up the fence to win by a half-length while covering the 7-furlong distance in 1:22.38.





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Friday, February 17 2012


TOBY’S CORNER RETURNS IN MONDAY’S GENERAL GEORGE HANDICAP


LAUREL, MD. 02-16-12---The Laurel Park racing office was able to attract one of the top contenders from the 2011 Triple Crown trail for Monday’s $200,000 General George Handicap (G2). The General George is race nine of 10 on the holiday card with a post time of approximately 4:40 p.m. Eastern.

Toby’s Corner was considered one of the favorites for last year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) after upsetting Uncle Mo in the Wood Memorial (G1) but trainer Graham Motion had to scratch the son of Bellamy Road the week of the Derby after the colt injured his left hind leg in training.





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Thursday, February 16 2012


Barbara Fritchie/John Campbell Advances & Rapid Redux Celebration Preview


LAUREL, MD. 02-15-12---Trainer Michael Hushion has won two of the previous four Barbara Fritchie Handicaps, winning with Golden Dawn (2008) and Harissa (2011). This Saturday, the Belmont Park-based conditioner is sending graded stakes winners Nicole H and Lovely Lil south in search of another Grade 2 score.

The storied $200,000 Fritchie kicks off holiday racing this weekend at Laurel Park. The John B. Campbell Handicap is the co-feature on Saturday with the $200,000 General George Handicap (G2) headlining Monday’s President’s day card.





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