First Laurel 2-Year-Olds Go Today
Friday, May 5, 2023
LAUREL, MD – Seven fillies, including two each from trainers Claudio Gonzalez and Jerry Robb, are entered to line up in Maryland’s first 2-year-old race of the season Friday at Laurel Park.
The 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight in Race 3 serves as the feature of a nine-race program that gets under way at 12:25 p.m.
Gonzalez’s MCA Racing Stable will send out a pair of Maryland homebreds in She’s Fantastic and Family Gal. Both are daughters of Biblical, an $800,000 yearling of 2016 who won three of 11 starts for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher and ran third in the 2019 Champions Day Marathon.
She’s Fantastic and Family Gal have been working together for their debut, first appearing on the work tab with a three-furlong move in :37.60 seconds on April 8 at Laurel. Most recently, they breezed five furlongs in 1:03.20 on April 27, both from the gate. They will break alongside each other from Post 5 and 6 with Jean Alvelo and Yomar Ortiz, respectively.
Gonzalez connects with 22 percent of his first-time starters and 21 percent of his 2-year-olds. Maryland’s annual leading trainer since 2017, he had two wins from his first 13 starters at Laurel’s spring meet. Both She’s Fantastic and Family Gal are rated at 6-1 on the morning line.
Robb will counter with William Bayne Jr. and Super C Racing Inc.’s Buckin’ Lucky and Super C Racing’s Buckin’ Great, who also drew adjacent stalls respectively in Post 3 and 4. Both fillies were purchased at Fasig-Tipton’s Eastern Fall yearling sale last October at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Buckin’ Lucky for $28,000 and Buckin’ Great for $55,000.
Buckin’ Lucky is by multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Madefromlucky out of the Eskendereya mare Rimanisempreforte. Buckin’ Great is a Virginia-bred daughter of Great Notion out of the Point Given mare Naseem, who captured the 2006 Lindsay Frolic at Calder, a one-mile dirt stakes, in her first career start.
Jaime Rodriguez is named on Buckin’ Lucky, co-third choice at 9-2, while Xavier Perez will be aboard 5-2 program favorite Buckin’ Great.
Brothers John Salzman Jr. and Tim Salzman will also be represented. Salzman Jr. has Bird Mobberley and Grady Griffin’s Virginia-bred Low Mileage (9-2), a bay daughter of Mineshaft who fired a bullet three-furlong work in :35.80 seconds on April 15 at Laurel and will break from the rail with Jevian Toledo.
Tim Salzman will send out Dam Sires Dreams Racing Stable’s Pennsylvania-bred Divine Magic (10-1). By Divining Rod, who ran third to subsequent Triple Crown champion American Pharoah in the 2015 Preakness, she also has a bullet three-eighths work on her tab of 36 seconds April 8. Angel Cruz rides from Post 2.
Completing the field is R. Larry Johnson’s Maryland homebred Call the Question (7-2), a daughter of Midshipman who is based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. with Mike Trombetta. Call the Question has been working steadily since late March for her debut, tuning up with a three-furlong breeze in :36.40 seconds over the all-weather surface on April 29, fastest of 16 horses.
Forte Remains Top Choice in Inaugural Preakness Future Wager
Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s four-time Gr. 1-winning champion Forte, the 3-1 program favorite in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, remains the top choice in the Maryland Jockey Club’s inaugural Preakness Future Wager.
At the close of live racing Thursday at Laurel, this year’s Florida Derby and Fountain of Youth winner Forte was sitting at 7-2 odds for the 148th Preakness Stakes, Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, to be run Saturday, May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.
Second choice in the Preakness Future Wager was Arkansas Derby winner Angel of Empire (9-1), followed by Lexington winner First Mission (10-1) and Forte’s Blue Grass-winning stablemate Tapit Trice (11-1), both trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher. The field entry of “all other 3-year-olds” was ninth choice
of 28 betting interests at 19-1.
A total of $215,487 was in the win pool after Thursday’s eighth race was made official.
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