Wonder Mon is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Away from action since last May, the Maria’s Mon colt won his first two starts in Maryland, raced in Florida during the winter and came back to run in Maryland in the spring.
Capuano’s other runner is Legendary Lover (4-1), who is not coupled with Wonder Mon in the betting. The son of Not For Love is two for five lifetime, with a maiden claiming win and an allowance score at Laurel Park. Travis Dunkelberger has the mount.
“He’s training pretty well going to this race,” said Garcia. “He bled a little bit, so we’re going to give him Lasix for the first time, but I think he is in good shape.”
Malibu Kid (4-1), a Malibu Moon offspring with a second in the Maryland Juvenile Championship last December and a third in the Woodlawn Stakes on Preakness weekend, carries the hopes of trainer Rodney Jenkins. Malibu Kid was a front running winner of his most recent try at Charles Town on August 15.
Peter’s Creek (8-1), Blue’s Baby Boy (12-1) and Pearlman (15-1) complete the lineup.
RUSSELL WINS THREE STRAIGHT THURSDAY TO LEAD RIDER STANDINGS
Sheldon Russell advanced to the top of the rider standings with a three win afternoon today at Laurel Park. The 21-year-old rider scored aboard National Guard ($47-third), First Lady Glenna ($5.40-fourth) and Winsome Ways ($6-fifth) to join Kendrick Carmouche as co-leader of the Laurel fall meeting with seven victories after the first nine days of the stand. The promising Russell has been unlucky with injuries during his apprentice campaign, which began more than a year ago.
Russell burst onto the scene last fall and ranked third in Laurel standings when he fractured the T-5 and T-6 vertebrae in his back on October 4 and missed the remainder of the year.
He returned on February 14 and moved into sixth place in the winter standings in about a month riding for such top trainers as Scott Lake, Graham Motion, Benny Feliciano, Rodney Jenkins, Howard Wolfendale and King Leatherbury when he fractured the T-8 and T-9 vertebrae during a spill on March 22 and missed the entire Pimlico spring meet.
Russell then broke his left wrist in late June at Colonial Downs during the first few weeks of that stand and was out of action the remainder of the summer.