LAUREL, MD. 7-30-09---The second half of the Maryland racing calendar starts on Saturday when Laurel Park opens an 11-day stand with late afternoon racing on Fridays (3:35 p.m.) and 1:10 p.m. posts on Saturdays and Sundays.

Racing has been on hiatus in Maryland since late May. Live action will go to the end of the year, with a seven day stay for the Maryland State Fair. The autumn session contains two huge days on the racing calendar, the Maryland Million on September 26th and the Grade I DeFrancis Dash on October 24th.

The Humphrey S. Finney Stakes is the premier attraction on Saturday and a flurry of promotions is planned for the mini-meeting. Chances to win tickets and prizes, a crab feast, two Latin fiestas, Twilight Fridays and a Picnic at the Park are all on the schedule.

Five 3-year-old Maryland-breds will meet on the turf in the 1-1/16th mile Finney Stakes. The program favorite is Winthrop House (8-5), who is training in New York under Kiaran McLaughlin

“We think the race is a good fit,” said assistant-trainer Artie Magnuson. “He ran the other day in a one, other than. He needed the race and we came away happy. He was tired but he came out of it super. Even last year we we’re talking about going in Maryland-bred races with him.”

Winthrop House, in his only try at the distance in November, finished third but ahead of Lime Rickey, who placed in Grade II and Grade III stakes after that start.

Winthrop House will carry Luis Garcia. Their chief competitor is Music City (5-2), who led to the stretch in his first try on the turf against stakes company. Friskie J (7-2), Ham And Ernie (9-2) and Target Sighted (8-1) complete the line-up.