Smooth Manuevers, Richetta Romp at Laurel

(from Laurel Park reports)
Nick Sanna Stable's Smooth Maneuvers stole the $100,000 Anne Arundel Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Laurel Park Saturday, seizing the lead into the first turn and holding it the rest of the way to win by 2 1/2 lengths under jockey Mario Pino.

Post time 7-10 favorite Devotion Unbridled tracked the leader in third but could not gain on her down the stretch, settling for second. Alchemist was third. Smooth Maneuvers' winning time in was 1:51.56 for the nine furlongs. She paid $19.80, $5.60 and $3.80 as the second-longest selection in the seven-horse Arundel.

Pino rode the filly for his brother, trainer Michael Pino, who had claimed her out of her maiden debut at Delaware Park for $25,000. She is now three for four for her new connections with career earnings of $123,900.

"It was a beautiful trip," jockey Pino said. "I got away with soft fractions. My brother said, 'Even though this looks like a tough race, she has a shot here.' My brother did a good job."

"I liked her pedigree and she was a nice looking horse so I figured we'd take a shot (and claim her)," trainer Pino noted. "She wound up being a runner. I was totally shocked the day we took her. You don't often claim a first timer that wins with such authority (a 5 1/2-length win). She's progressed nicely and really fought hard her last race, her first time around two turns."

Devotion Unbridled, with Edgar Prado in the irons, returned $2.60 and $2.40. Alchemist's show was $3.

(Chart, Equibase)

Richetta Romps in Selima Stakes
Higgins and Bowman Stable's Richetta turned what was expected to be a contested heat into a stroll around Laurel Park with a commanding victory in the $100,000 Selima Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Sent to post as second choice in the wagering, Richetta dueled with longshot Quiet Down down the backstretch before shaking clear of that one and bounding away to a clear lead. Jockey Rick Wilson guided the daughter of Polish Numbers safely into the stretch and under the finish line in 1:44.76 for 1 1/16 miles, 6-1/2 lengths clear of Taittinger Rose. Post time favorite Spectacular Moon was third.

Richetta winner paid $6.60. She remains undefeated at Laurel Park and has now won three stakes here in a span of less than 40 days (including the Maryland Million Lassie Oct. 11 and the Heavenly Cause Nov. 1).

"We purchased her at the 2-year-olds in training sale at Timonium in May, winning trainer Robin Graham said, "(Co-owner) Milton Higgins liked her pedigree and thought she would make a good broodmare prospect. Our main object has been to get her some black type. She is a May foal and still developing. We'll probably come back in the filly juvenile championship".

The Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship will be run at Laurel Park on December 31.

Richetta improved to 4-0-1 in five starts with earnings of $168,110.

(Chart, Equibase)