Six Stakes Worth $850,000 Highlights Winter Carnival Feb. 18
A big day of racing is on the Laurel Park schedule Feb. 18 with six stakes worth $850,000 in purse money highlighting the Winter Carnival Program.
A total of 187 nominations were submitted for the six stakes races, which is headlined by the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie (G2) and $250,000 General George (G3).
The first graded stakes races of the year in Maryland will bring some strong horses to Laurel Par. The Barbara Fritchie Stakes is a 7-furlong race for fillies and mares 4 and up, and 27 horses from New York were nominated. Multiple graded stakes winners By the Moon and Paulassilverlining along with Grade 3 winner Hot City Girl and Grade 3-placed High Ridge Road will be the top contenders. The race will also include Clothes Fall Off, runner-up in the 2016 Fritchie and local nominees Sweet on Smokey and multiple stakes winner Lovable Lady.
Defending champion Page McKenney heads a list of 47 nominations to the 7-furlong General George Stakes for 4-year-olds and up. The 7-year-old gelding ended a nine-month layoff with a decisive 1 ¾-length triumph in the Native Dancer Jan. 21 at Laurel, his 17th win from 45 career starts and 10th stakes victory. He has finished in the top three in 25 consecutive starts dating back to May 2014.
Grade 3 winners El Kabeir, Green Gratto, Heaven’s Runway, Ocean Knight, Stallwalkin’ Dude and Trouble Kid and multiple stakes winners Imperial Hint, Never Gone South and Sonny Inspired are also nominated. El Kabeir won the 2015 City of Laurel in his lone local start, while Heaven’s Runway captured the Dave’s Friend Dec. 31 and Imperial Hint took the Fire Plug Jan. 14 at Laurel.
Page McKenney is also among 33 nominees to the $75,000 John B. Campbell Stakes for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, a race he won in 2015. Also nominated are 2016 Preakness (G1) runner-up Cherry Wine, 2016 Campbell winner Kid Cruz, multiple stakes winners Royal Posse and Turco Bravo and 2016 Withers (G3) winner Sunny Ridge.
The $75,000 Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds at one mile attracted 35 nominations led by High Roller, stakes winner O Dionysus and Butch Walker, the top three finishers from the Frank Whiteley Jr. Jan. 21 at Laurel; filly Star Super, winner of the Jan. 21 Marshua; multiple stakes winner Cool Arrow and multiple Grade 3-placed True Timber.
Maryland Juvenile Fillies Championship winner Crabcakes, undefeated through three lifetime starts, tops 25 3-year-old fillies nominated to the $75,000 Wide Country at 7-furlongs. Lucky in Malibu , runner-up behind Crabcakes and beaten a neck by Star Super in the Marshua; unbeaten Sine Wave and Sounds Delicious and two-time stakes winner Yorkiepoo Princess are also nominated.
Winter, Addibel Lightning, Moon Virginia and Alpine Sky, the first four finishers from the Jan. 21 Nellie Morse, are among 24 nominees to the $75,000 Maryland Racing Media for fillies and mares 4 and up at about 1 1/16 miles.