Laurel Park ends it meet Dec. 17 with division-ending stakes for 2-year-olds, the $75,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship and the $75,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship.
Both contests go at 7 1/2 furlongs on the main track. Glib
is the program choice against the boys. More Than A Cruise
is favored to beat the fillies.
Glib (2-1) has shown his mettle in all four starts, beating maidens by 7 1/2 lengths, winning the Maryland Million Nursery, finishing third after being bumped early in the Lord Henry Stakes at Aqueduct, and finishing second in the Dave’s Friend last out. Mario Pino rides the Great Notion
colt for Jerry Robb.
“The last race was tough. He didn’t break well and had to chase lone speed in a short field, which made it difficult,” Pino said. “With a larger field and outside post position we have some options this time. He has natural speed and we will not be too far back but the big factor is the distance. It is a long way home to the second wire and that final quarter is a big test.”
Jack's In The Deck
(3-1), fourth in the Maryland Million Nursery, followed that with a victory in the First State Dash at Delaware and a fifth at Aqueduct in the Toccet Stakes. Abel Castellano rides for trainer Robin Graham.
(4-1) merits mention off his two wins at Laurel Park, once against maidens and the other against optional claimers. Julian Pimentel continues to ride the son of Deputy Storm
for trainer Patrick Magill.
Six other 2-year-old Maryland-bred colts or geldings are expected in the Juvenile, which is the eighth race on the card.
Two races earlier, seven 2-year-old Maryland-bred fillies will go in the Juvenile Filly Championship.
After trouncing maidens last time out, More Than A Cruise (2-1) wheels back for trainer Larry Murray. The More Than Ready
filly has speed and close stalking ability, both advantageous for a one-turn test.
(5-2) rides a two-race win streak into Saturday. In five starts at Laurel, she has two wins and two seconds, with her only off-the-board finish in the Maryland Million Lassie. Castellano has the riding assignment.
“I wish we had more than nine days since her last race but she is doing well,” said trainer Edwin Merryman. “She has been running against good runners in all five starts. In her first race we were second to Sweet Seventeen
, a Graham Motion who came back to win an ‘A other than’ at Keeneland and was second in a grade II at Woodbine in her next two starts. In the Maryland Million she was very green. Since then she was good against Dance to Bristol
and won her last two.”
(4-1) is the only stakes winner in the field, winning the Maryland Million Lassie on Oct. 1 for trainer John Salzman Jr. Harry Vega has the mount on the daughter of Two Punch. In her last start she was fifth behind Defy Gravity
and Dance to Bristol
in the Smart Halo Stakes last month.