Sixteen Maryland-bred or Maryland-sired sprinters, including three Maryland Million winners, headline the stakes action at Laurel Park on Friday, Nov. 24.
A field of six fillies and mares were entered in the $75,000 Politely, while ten male sprinters are scheduled to contest the $75,000 Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial Stakes. Both races will be contested at seven furlongs.
The likely favorite for the Politely is Intrepid Daydream, a homebred for Larry Fowler Jr. She's won each of her last three starts, having taken the Shine Again Stakes at Pimlico on Sept. 16, the Tax Free Shopping Distaff allowance at Delaware Park on Sept. 28, and most recently the Maryland Million Distaff at Laurel on Oct. 14. She was entered in and scratched from the Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes at Laurel on Nov. 11, and worked four furlongs in 47 3/5 seconds three days later. Jevian Toledo is named to ride from post position two.
Intrepid Daydream is one of two Gary Capuano-trained runners in the field. Malibu Beauty, a homebred for ZWP Stable and Capuano's Non Stop Stable. The 5-year-old daughter of Buffum won three stakes races in 2022 and has finished stakes-placed twice this year. She most recently finished fourth in the Thirty Eight Go Go. She'll break from post position four with Jaime Rodriguez aboard.
Maryland Million Distaff runner-up Response Time (bred by Country Life Farm), Utterly Enchanting (bred by Country Roads Ltd), Canoodle (bred by Mr. & Mrs. Charles McGinnes), and Moonboots round out the field. All except Moonboots, who was bred in Pennsylvania and is by Anchor & Hope Farm stallion Bourbon Courage, were bred in Maryland.
The Politely will be the seventh race on the card at Laurel Park, with a scheduled post time of 3:31 p.m.
The Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial Stakes features two Maryland Million winners. Seven's Eleven, a homebred for Cottonwood Stable LLC, won the Maryland Million Sprint by five lengths. He's looking for a rebound effort following a third-place performance in a second-level allowance optional claiming race at Laurel on Nov. 2. Angel Cruz has the call from the rail.
Ain't Da Beer Cold, who is also entered in the Richard W. Small Stakes on Saturday, Nov. 25, crossed the wire second by a neck in the Maryland Million Classic, but was elevated to victory following a disqualification. The 5-year-old gelding, bred by Matt Spencer and Kelly Cox, who co-own with Bonuccelli Racing, drew post position five. Toledo will be in the saddle.
Other notable runners in the Bender include Double Crown (bred by Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Bowman), the winner of the Polynesian Stakes, Joe (a homebred for the Elkstone Group LLC), a two-time Maryland-bred champion, Coffeewithchris (bred by Tom Rooney), who won the Miracle Wood Stakes earlier this year and was stakes-placed three times this season, and Super Accelerate (bred by Bowman & Higgins Stable), who took the Star de Naskra Stakes earlier this year. Both Coffeewithchris and Super Accelerate are cross-entered in Saturday's City of Laurel Stakes.
The Bender field is rounded out by Sagamore Mischief (bred by Ned Williams and Mike Mattese), Tenax (bred by Jerome Burdick), Hello Hot Rod (bred by Hillwood Stable LLC), and Holy Synchronicity (bred by Lady Olivia at North Cliff LLC). Post time is scheduled for 4:02 p.m.
In addition to the cross-entered Ain't Da Beer Cold, Coffeewithchris, and Super Accelerate, two other Maryland-breds are entered in stakes races at Laurel on Saturday. Post Time, last year's champion Maryland-bred 2-year-old male, drew post position four in the City of Laurel, with Sheldon Russell aboard. Bred by Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Dr. Brooke Bowman, and Milton P. Higgins III and owned by Hillwood Stable, Post Time was most recently third in the Perryville Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 21. The Brittany Russell trainee was a perfect 3-for-3 at Laurel last year, winning those races by a combined 12 1/2 lengths. The race is scheduled to go off at 3:00 p.m.
Liquidator, bred by Country Life Farm and Stone LLC, drew post position three in Saturday's Safely Kept Stakes. The 3-year-old daughter of Country Life's Divining Rod has had a busy season, with a record of 5-4-1 from 14 starts. She finished second by a head in the Miss Disco Stakes at Laurel on July 29. Most recently, she won a $25,000 claiming race at Laurel on Oct. 27, and was claimed out of that race by new owner/trainer Joanne Shankle. Post time for Safely Kept is 3:31 p.m.