LAUREL, MD. 10-31-08---As many as twelve Maryland-bred fillies and mares could line up in Saturday’s $50,000 All Brandy Stakes, set for nine furlongs on the turf. The field runs the gamut from multiple stakes winners to runners in search of a second lifetime victory.

Stakes winners come from the powerful stables of Graham Motion (Miss Lombardi), Hamilton Smith (Sales Tax), Mike Trombetta (Spectacular Malibu), Chris Grove (Lexi Star) and Richard Small (For Kisses).

Miss Lombardi is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The 6-year-old enters the fray off two wins, including a come from behind victory in the Maryland Million Ladies, which was contested four weeks ago on the turf at Saturday’s distance. The daughter of Unbridled Jet, who will carry Luis Garcia, worked last Friday (five furlongs in 1:01.20) at the Fair Hill Training Center in preparation for the All Brandy.

“She has always been a good work horse and she is training well,” said Motion’s assistant Adrian Rolls. “She ran a big race on Maryland Million day and we hope for a repeat performance. It seems like she is peaking at the right time. I was just telling Graham how well she was doing.”

Two-time stakes winner Sales Tax (7-2) starts from the far outside post. She won both the Tippet and Jr. Champion Stakes and finished second in the Holly Stakes last year. This year she is winless in five races but does have three in the money finishes.

Spectacular Malibu (4-1) was another winner on Maryland Million Day, taking down the Distaff Handicap at seven furlongs on the main track. Prior to that start, she missed by just a nose in the Windward Stakes at Presque Isle Downs. Julian Pimentel retains the mount on the Malibu Moon filly, who has only been on the turf one time in her career. The 4-year-old has finished first or second in 10 of 14 starts.

Lexi Star (9-2) will only run if the race comes off the grass. The daughter of Crypto Star has won six stakes races during her career, including two at the distance. Grove indicated the 6-year-old will be retired after one more start. A win would boost her earnings to $612,624.

For Kisses (12-1) took the Monmouth Beach Stakes this summer and finished third in the Grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap earlier in her 5-year-old campaign.

Small will also saddle Take a Check (15-1), who is still looking for her first added money score. The daughter of Touch Gold has earned nearly $475,000 in 49 career starts with 30 in the money finishes. The 6-year-old has been on the board in 14 of 26 stakes races.

Rounding out the field will be the Vincent Moscarelli entry of Pic Isabella and Baltic Lady (20-1), All Smiles (20-1), Ten Bolts (20-1), Gadget (30-1) and Clara’s Song (30-1).


Sheldon Russell, the leading rider at the current stand who has been plagued with injuries that have repeatedly interrupted his apprentice year, was hurt again when his mount broke down during today’s second race.

Russell made a gallant attempt to ease Mo The Tiger after the 2-year-old started to lose action nearing the 1/16th marker, but the colt abruptly fell and his rider tumbled hard to the ground. Russell complained of back pain, was quickly stabilized and loaded into the track ambulance.

Clerk of Scales Adam Campola reported that the rider was transferred to Howard County General Hospital for x-rays.

Russell’s promising career has stopped and started several times because of injuries which took him out of action last fall, this spring and again this summer. He won a career-best five races at Laurel on October 4, 2007 and won four on September 27.

The 21-year-old leads Laurel the fall riding standings with 29.