LAUREL, MD. 02-07-09---Everest Stables, Inc.’s Strut the Canary loomed the easy winner a furlong from the finish but at the wire she was in front by only a head, enough to win the $50,000 Marshua Stakes, the feature offering on this sunny afternoon at Laurel Park.

Jockey Jeremy Rose took the blame for the narrow victory. “That was one of my worst rides I put up in a while. That was just a terrible idea to take the lead that early. The reason I made the early move was that I didn’t know how good the horse on the lead (Aspenglow) was. She was by herself and wanted to get by her. We went by her too soon. It was a bad ride.”

Strut the Canary was beating fellow 3-year-old fillies in the six furlong test on the main track for her third consecutive victory. She completed the distance in 1:10.72, holding off the furious rally of 42-1 longshot Huge to take the top prize, and paid $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite.

“It was a nice performance. I have to be pleased,” trainer Tim Tullock said. “It was the biggest test of her career. It didn’t go exactly as we wanted, but she was able to do it in a fast time and proved she didn’t have to be up front.”

Tullock indicated the daughter of Mineshaft would be pointed to the Grade III Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct on March 14.

Rose won three races on the Saturday card and was nine-for-21 during the week with 15 in the money finishes to move into the top spot in the Laurel rider standings.

“It has been great week,” added Rose. “This is the reason we ride-to have weeks like this.”

The 29-year-old rider has now won the Marshua three consecutive years after reaching the winners’ circle the last two runnings with Laila’s Punch (2007) and Throbbin’ Heart (2008).