‘LAUREL LIVE’ THIS FRIDAY

HRI Edited ReleaseLAUREL, MD – Three allowance races, a maiden special weight for juvenile fillies and a trio of events scheduled for its world-class turf course are on tap when live racing returns to Laurel Park with a 10-race program Friday, Oct. 11.

 The four-day live race week will be capped by a special Columbus Day holiday program Monday, Oct. 14.

 There will be a $1 Super Hi-5 carryover of $1,851.56 in Friday’s opener, a maiden claiming event for fillies and mares 3 and up at seven furlongs on the main track. First-race post time is 1:10 p.m.

 Race 4 is a $47,000 third-level optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and older sprinting six furlongs on the Fort Marcy turf course where Frippery, Buff’s In Love, Munificent, Too Much Tip and Boos are all exiting stakes races, Boos having finished third in the Turf Amazon Sept. 21 at Parx.

            A $42,000 entry-level allowance going six furlongs on the main track for fillies and mares 3 and up will go as Race 5, featuring Talkthetalk and Bunting, third and fifth, respectively, in the Weather Vane Stakes Sept. 21 at Laurel. Maryland-bred/sired 3-year-olds and up will sprint six furlongs on the Fort Marcy layout in Race 6, a $35,000 restricted allowance.

            Eleven 2-year-old fillies were entered for Race 7, a $40,000 maiden special weight going one mile on the main track, including daughters of Kentucky Derby (G1) winners Orb and Super Saver, Preakness (G1) winner Lookin At Lucky and Grade 1 winners Awesome Again, City Zip and Medaglia d’Oro, the latter being Embossed, a Mike Stidham-trained Godolphin homebred making her race debut.

Former Maryland Trainer Vinnie Blengs Passes Away at 90

            Retired trainer Vincent ‘Vinnie’ Blengs, the renowned New England horseman who stabled in Maryland during the 1990s, passed away Oct. 5 in South Florida at the age of 90.

            According to Equibase statistics, Blengs, known as the ‘King of Suffolk Downs’ during his heyday, won 1,981 races and more than $24 million in purses during his lengthy career. He sent out his last starter, Arch Thirteen, to be third in a maiden claiming race May 9, 2010 at the former Calder Race Course.

            A native of Revere, Mass., Blengs made his mark in Maryland winning the 1992 Selima (G3) with Booly, 1994 Federico Tesio (G3) with Silver Profile, and 1996 All Along (G2) with Another Legend.

            In 1995, Blengs captured the $200,000 Maryland Million Classic with Brilliant Patriot, a horse he claimed for $25,000 just months earlier from King Leatherbury, Maryland’s leading trainer who would go on to be enshrined in the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2015.

            In addition to his training success, Blengs is credited with helping launch the career of jockey Edgar Prado, when the future Hall of Famer came to New England. Prado would rise to national prominence after moving his tack to Maryland in the 1990s.

             Blengs won Grade 1 races with Back Bay Barrister in the 1984 Peter Pan and Dr. Root in the 1991 Sword Dancer, both at Belmont Park.

            A celebration of Blengs’ life will be held in December at Gulfstream Park, where a race will be named in his honor.

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