Five stakes races got off the ground at Laurel Park on Saturday. One of them was won by jockey Charlie Marquez on a 21-1 longshot, giving him his first stakes victory! We want to congratulate the young rider and wish him many more to come. Plus kudos to his fellow jockey, Sheldon Russell, who was in the zone that afternoon —sweeping three consecutive races with two of them being stakes. The weekend brought great moments for our jockeys, and a competitive playing field for our equine athletes. The sun was out, the track was fast, the scores were settled. Let's get to recapping and see how it all played out.
The $100K Private Term Stakes was won by SHACKLED LOVE, ridden by jockey Charlie Marquez, trained by Gary CAPUANO, owned by Z WP STable Inc, and Non Stop Stable — in a $45.60 to win upset!
SHACKLED LOVE broke alertly for Charlie Marquez and was guided to the front, alongside of even-money favored MAYTHEHORSEBWITHU. Together they set opening fractions of 23.97 and 46.55. It was a moderate tempo. SHACKLED LOVE is asked to go on with it and takes command as they turn for home. But SHACKQUEENKING from midpack is the new danger. They're set down for the drive and SHACKED LOVE is fully extended. Charlie Marquez switches to left-hand imploring and is answered with a new gear; they kick away from their foes to win by half a length. MAYTHEHORSEBWITHU re-rallied to finish second. EXCELLORATOR rode up the rails to grab third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth was 1:43.56.
SHACKLED LOVE paid 45.60 to win, $13.00 to place, and $6.20 to show. He is by SHACKLEFORD out of STEADY N LOVE by NOT FOR LOVE. He earned his first win at Laurel Park after placing the last two times. He pushes his earnings to $117,132 and earned his highest speed figure off this effort.
Jockey Charlie Marquez earned his first stakes victory off this effort. It's great to see the young rider recovered from his unfortunate spill at Belmont last October. Go Charlie Marquez!
The $100K Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes was won by CORDMAKER, ridden by Victor Carrasco, trained by Rodney Jenkins, owned by Hillwood Stable LLC — in a gate to wire victory.
CORDMAKER from the two-hole broke evenly with the field, and was guided to the front to set the pace of 24.92, and 49.34. He was allowed to amble along the backstretch, uncontested, until they approached the turn, where GALERIO turned up the pressure and ranged up to his outside. DIXIE DRAWL began his rally from midpack, just two lengths behind. When they straighten for the stretch drive, it is CORDMAKER and GALERIO who go on with it. It's a two-horse race to the wire with CORDMAKER going better of the two. Victor Carrasco taps the tank a few times, right-handed, and CORDMAKER responds with more speed, repelling GALERIO to win by almost two lengths. GALERIO settles for second, DIXIE DRAWL runs third. The final time for the one mile and one-eighth on the dirt was 1:49.37.
CORDMAKER paid $8.60 to win, $4.00 to place, and $3.00 to show. He is by CURLIN out of TANCA by POLISH NUMBERS. He's now won 9 times from 28 starts, pushing his earnings to $588,640.
The $100K Beyond The Wire Stakes was won by LITTLESTITIOUS, ridden by Sheldon Russell, trained by Thomas Amoss, owned by Mercedes Stables LLC — with a determined rally.
The field of five broke evenly with LITTLESTITIOUS positioned behind the leading flight through a pedestrian quarter of 24.71, a quickened half of 47.71. They turned on the jets as they turned for home, with LITTLESTITIOUS still racing mid-pack. Sheldon Russel fully extends LITTLESTITIOUS and she uses the length of the stretch to reel in FRAUDULENT CHARGE to secure the win. STREET LUTE hung on for third. The final time for the one mile over the dirt was 1:36.75.
LITTLESTITIOUS paid $10.20 to win, $4.20 to place, and $2.40 to show. She is by GHOST ZAPPER out of BROADWAY PLAY by QUALITY ROAD. She's now won 3 times from 8 starts, pushed her earnings to $204,340. She relished off the drop in class, having come off a difficult Grade 2 race last time out against the likes of CLARIERE and TRAVEL COLUMN. She cuts back in distance, gets Sheldon Russell in the irons for the first time, and secures her second highest speed figure off this win. This was one of Sheldon Russell's three wins of the card.
The $75K Not For Love Stakes was won by WHERESHETOLDMETOGO, ridden by Sheldon Russell, trained by Brittany Russell, owned by Madaket Stables LLC, Ten Strike Racing, Michael E Kisber, and Black Cloud Stable LLC — in an impressive score; a four-wide sweep to the wire.
WHERESHETOLDMETOGO did not break the fastest and found himself toward the rear of the field, while the leaders set fractions of 22.48 for the quarter, 45.20 for the half. Sheldon Russell switches him to the outside and he overtakes the pacesetters as they reach the stretch. DAYTHEMUSICDIED at 22-1 briefly goes with him, but WHERESHETOLDMETOGO is much the best; he spurts clear to win by three lengths. KAREN'S MOTION rallied for second, DAYTHEMUSICDIED ran third. The final time for the six furlong race was 1:09.82.
WHERESHETOLDMETOGO is by EL PADRINO out of UNDISPUTED LEGEND by DOMESTIC DISPUTE. He's now won three in a row, all stakes races at Laurel Park. He pushed his earnings to $586,291.
This victory gave Sheldon Russell his third and final win on the card; making it two stakes wins for the day.
The $75,000 Conniver Stakes was won by KISS THE GIRL, ridden by Victor Carrasco, trained by Michael Trombetta, owned by Three Diamonds Farm — in convincing fashion.
KISS THE GIRL broke clean but raced a four wide trip as the front-runners set a pace of 23.31 and 46.31. The tempo quickened and Victor Carrasco asked KISS THE GIRL for more run. She swung four-wide into the stretch, and with leaping strides she seized the lead with a sixteenth left to go, holding off the late rally of LOOKIN DYNAMIC for the win. WHISPERING PINES snuck up the rail to grab third. The final time for the seven furlong sprint was 1:23.21.
KISS THE GIRL paid $6.00 to win, $3.80 to place, and $3.00 to show. She is by INTO MISCHIEF out of SPIN THE BOTTLE by HARD SPUN. She's now won 4 times out of 12 starts, with earnings pushed to $221,056. It was a successful return to the races, as she records her second-highest speed figure to date.