A couple of heavy hitters from the New York area have shipped to Pimlico in an attempt to annex the $100,000 Laurel Futurity (gr. III) Saturday. Ogden Mills Phipps' Defer and Starlight Stables et al's Funk are going to be tough to deal with in the 8 1/2-furlong Futurity. A field of seven 2-year-olds will face the starter, including the entry of Malibu Moonshine and Woody's Apache, who will be sent out by King Leatherbury for owner Woodrow Marriott.
Funk has gotten his picture taken in two of three starts, including an impressive 7 1/2-length score in a first-level allowance contest over a mile at Meadowlands Oct. 14 for trainer Todd Pletcher. Pletcher has another formidable contender in here with Killenaule, who has taken half his eight starts and is the most experienced horse in the race. The son of Fusaichi Pegasus has stakes wins at Delaware and Meadowlands to his credit in his previous two starts.
Defer, by Danzig, broke his maiden at first asking for trainer Shug McGaughey at Belmont Oct. 2 and came back to run second in the Nashua (gr. III) to Rockport Harbor, considered one of the absolute top 2-year-olds in the country today. He will be getting first-time Lasix and should be dangerous under rider Jerry Bailey.
Malibu Moonshine is two-for-three, and is a son of Malibu Moon, who also has Declan's Moon running in the Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) this weekend. Malibu Moonshine has a victory over the Pimlico layout. Monster Chaser comes off a win for Maryland-breds over the track Oct. 30 in the Rollicking Stakes, and has been first or second in five of his six starts. Elusive Thunder ran second to Killenaule last out in the Storm Cat, and before that took the World Appeal at Meadowlands.
All starters carry 122 pounds. The field for the Laurel Futurity, in post position order with riders:
2) Defer (Jerry Bailey)
3) Funk (No Rider)
1)Malibu Moonshine (Richard Monterrey)
4) Killenaule (No Rider)
5) Monster Chaser (Ryan Fogelsonger)
6) Elusive Thunder (Stewart Elliott)
1a) Woody's Apache (Ramon Dominguez)