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A bevy of stakes winners and year-end champions highlight the 42 nominations to the Maryland-bred/sired stakes races at Laurel Park on Saturday, March 16. The $75,000 Conniver Stakes, for fillies and mares at seven furlongs, and the $75,000 Not For Love Stakes, for older males at six furlongs, attracted 21 nominations each.

19 of the Conniver nominees are Maryland-breds, with Pennsylvania-bred Golden Tabby (by Golden Lad) and New Jersey-bred Lassie's Notion (by Great Notion) the exceptions. Four of the top five finishers in the Jan. 28 Geisha have been nominated, including the winner, Malibu Moonshine. Bred by Dr. Ronald Harris Parker, the 2022 Maryland-bred champion 2-year-old filly came from off the pace to win the Geisha by a neck in her first victory since her award-winning season. Second-place finisher Northern Glow (a homebred for Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds LLC), third-place finisher Royal Whisper (bred by Barak Farm), and fifth-place finisher Bella Bettina (bred by Daniel Marconi) were also nominated.

Other prominent nominees include Joel Politi homebred Bosserati, the 2023 Maryland-bred champion 3-year-old filly, who recently returned to the worktab in preparation for her first start since July 15, Response Time, the Country Life Farm-bred winner of last year's Timonium Distaff, and Intrepid Dream, a Larry Fowler Jr. homebred full sister to 2023 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year Intrepid Daydream who won a third-level allowance at Laurel on March 2.

Of the 21 nominees for the Not For Love, 19 are Maryland-breds. West Virginia-bred Coastal Mission and Virginia-bred Kenny Had a Notion, both by Great Notion, are the outliers. 

The top two finishers in the Feb. 17 General George-G3 are on the nominee list. Post Time, bred by Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Dr. Brooke Bowman & Milton P. Higgins III, won the General George by three lengths for his third consecutive stakes victory. Runner-up Seven's Eleven, a homebred for the Cottonwood Stable LLC, was named champion Maryland-bred  3-year-old male on the strength of a six-win season which included victories in the Maryland Million Sprint and the Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial Stakes.

Seven's Eleven is one of two reigning Maryland-bred champions on the nominee list. Double Crown, named champion older male following two stakes wins last year, is also on the nominee list. Bred by Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Bowman & Rebecca Davis, the 7-year-old gelded son on Bourbon Courage is closing in on millionaire status, with $868,685 in earnings.

Other notable nominations include a pair of Maryland Million Classic winners: 2021 champion Monday Morning Qb (bred by Bowman & Higgins Stable & Cary Frommer) and 2022 winner Ournationonparade (bred by John E. Williamson III). In addition to Post Time, four other nominees have won two or more consecutive races: Holly House Farm homebred Arden'sluckytobe, Bump N Run (bred by owner Alicia Morgan and trainer Tim Shaw), Sycamore Hall homebred Frightland, and Rominski (bred by David Wade).

Entries for both the Conniver and the Not For Love will be taken on Sunday, March 10.

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