Bender, Murray, Rose Dominate Laurel's Opening

(from Laurel report)
Sondra Bender's Promenade Girl trounced a field of 3-year-old Maryland-bred fillies in the opening day feature at Laurel Park, the $75,000 Twixt Stakes.

Under jockey Jeremy Rose, Promenade Girl left the gate from the outside post in the one-mile feature. She traveled four wide down the backside and around the turn. Rose gave the daughter of Carson City the go-ahead spinning widest into the lane and she rushed away to win convincingly by 7 1/4 lengths in 1:38.52 over the fast main track. Fitzhugh LLC's entry of Magical Broad and Sticky ran second and third, respectively. The winner paid $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite.

Larry Murray trains the winner.

(Chart, Equibase)

Besides winning the stakes, Bender, Murray and Rose made Laurel Park history when Access Agenda won the sixth race, the first race carded on the brand new turf course.

Access Agenda, a 7-year-old son of Twilight Agenda, stayed close to the rail and tracked the leaders from eighth place before accelerating around the turn. He angled off the rail and then drove between horses to take the lead in the $25,000 claiming event for 3-year-olds. The time was a quick,1:40.18 for the 1-1/16th mile distance.

"It's great winning the first race on it," said Murray. "It remains to be seen how it holds up and plays out. It sure looked good today."

"I liked it," added Rose. "No clods were coming back. It was a little dry and it hasn't got much rain but my horse handled it beautifully, got through traffic and finished up good. It feels real nice."

Access Agenda's victory at $8.20 kicked off the first ever All-Turf Pick 3, a new wager scheduled daily at Laurel Park. The Pick 3 paid $524.60 after Rescigno ($15.80) won the seventh race and Ambition Unbridled ($7.80) captured the eighth.

(Chart, Equibase)