Circle P rallied from well off the early pace and got there in time to capture the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile at Laurel Park on Saturday, Dec. 2 in a modest 8-1 upset.
The gelded son of Speightster, based at Penn National for owners DeSales 85 LLC and trainer Flint Stites, made his stakes debut in the Maryland Juvenile. He broke well from post position four under Ricardo Chiappe, then drafted towards the back of the eight-horse field in the early stages. The two favorites, 6-5 chalk Speedyness and 3-1 Catahoula Moon, the winner of the Maryland Million Nursery, battled through honest fractions, rattling off an opening quarter in :22.95 and a first half-mile of :45.66. The duo had a five-length advantage on the others as they turned for home, but Circle P was beginning to gather momentum.
In the stretch, Catahoula Moon dispatched Speedyness and briefly held a comfortable advantage. However, Catahoula Moon was exhausted from his early battle and had no response for Circle P’s late rally. Circle P struck the front in the last sixteenth and pulled clear late to win by one and three-quarters lengths. Catahoula Moon held on for second, while Speedyness finished third. The final time for seven furlongs on a fast main track was 1:24.49.
Circle P’s career record now stands at 2-1-1 from four starts, with earnings of $101,990. He was bred by Marathon Farms Inc. and has sold twice at auction: first to Andrew Motion for $18,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed Sale as part of the Marshall Silverman consignment, then again for $47,000 to Taproot Bloodstock at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
After a second-place finish in a maiden special weight at Penn National in his debut on Sept. 15, he broke his maiden by six and a half lengths at Laurel on Oct. 15 in a Maryland-bred waiver claimer. In his start prior to the Maryland Juvenile, he was third, five and three-quarter lengths behind Speedyness, in a first-level allowance optional claimer on Oct. 29.
Circle P is the sixth foal out of the Quiet American mare Quiet Inferno. A three-time winner with career earnings of $49,807, Quiet Inferno was purchased for $35,000 by Marathon Farms at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February Mixed Sale in foal to Kantharos. All five of Quiet Inferno’s foals to race are winners, including six-figure earners Sir Rick (Paynter), winner of the 2020 Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland Park, and the Maryland-bred Kantharos filly Mercury Head, a two-time winner in 2023. Quiet Inferno’s most recent reported foal is an unnamed yearling filly by Paynter born May 3. Not bred for 2023, Quiet Inferno was mated to Drain the Clock for 2024.