De Francis Dash favorite Shake You Down.

De Francis Dash favorite Shake You Down.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Shake You Down Headlines De Francis Dash

Edited from a Laurel Park release

Shake You Down, who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), headlines the 10 entries for Saturday's $300,000 De Francis Dash (gr. I) at Laurel Park. The race is named in honor of the late Frank J. De Francis, who as the innovative owner of the Maryland Jockey Club put the track in the forefront of American racing in the late 1980's. The Dash tops the Fall Festival of Racing card that features six added money races.

Based at Laurel Park under the care of conditioner Luigi Gino for two years, 5-year old Shake You Down was claimed by Scott Lake for owner Robert Cole, a Howard County resident, in March for $65,000. Now based at Lake's Belmont Park barn, Shake You Down has won six of eight, including three graded sprints this spring. Last month at Santa Anita in the $1,000,000 Breeders' Cup Sprint, he finished third as the 7-2 second choice.

Maryland Jockey Club oddsmaker Frank Carulli has installed the son of Montbrook as the prohibitive 4-5 favorite. A victory could mean the Eclipse Award in the sprint division for the former claimer.

"I think it would definitely help his chances," said Lake, who indicated his star pupil was hurt by an inside post and slow start three weeks ago. "He had every reason to run seventh or eighth turning for home but ran third and we were real pleased. Being in the six hole helps us. We don't have to be in front and we are a better horse if we have something to look at. If something is in front of us for awhile it is a big advantage."

The field, from the rail out, for the six-furlong, $300,000 De Francis Dash (gr. I). Post time is 4:33 p.m. at Laurel Park:

PP, Horse, Morning line, trainer, jockey
1--Outstander, 20-1, Rodney Jenkins, Jozbin Santana
2--Crossing Point, 12-1, Ben Feliciano, Mario Pino
3--A Huevo, 12-1, Michael Dickinson, Ramon Dominguez
4--Gators N Bears, 6-1, Leo Nechamkin, Rick Wilson
5--Way To The Top, 15-1, Bruce Levine, Jeremy Rose
6--Shake You Down, 4-5, Scott Lake, Mike Luzzi
7--Aggadan, 8-1, Richard Dutrow, Edgar Prado
8--Take Achance On Me, 20-1, Anthony Aguirre, Mark Johnston
9--Boston Common, 10-1, Michael Pino, Jorge Chavez
10--Highway Prospector, 12-1, Mark Shuman, Abel Castellano

The other five stakes races on the Fall Festival of Racing card are the grade III $100,000 Laurel Futurity (eight entries), the grade III $100,000 Anne Arundel Stakes (10 entries), the $100,000 Selima Stakes (nine entries), the $75,000 Stefanita Stakes (12 entries) and the $50,000 Hail Emperor Stakes (10 entries). Conditioners have until 9 a.m. Thursday morning to scratch before Carulli establishes a morning line.

The total purses for the 10-race card are $816,000, the fourth biggest day on the 220-day Maryland racing calendar, trailing only the programs on Preakness Stakes, Pimlico Special and Maryland Million days.

Laurel Park will also host a Community Day on Saturday. Highlighting the festivities will be the annual Cash Cube event. Four names will be drawn after the 5th race. The person grabbing the most cash will win his or her choice of a trip to either Santa Anita Park or Gulfstream Park for the Sunshine Millions on January 24, 2004.

The Carriage Room and grandstand apron will feature special appearances by the Washington Redskins cheerleaders along with a variety of community and civic exhibits. There will also be family entertainment including pony rides, face painters, a magician and juggler. On track activities will also include performances by the United States Park Police and the popular Jack Russell terrier races.

"This is our signature event of the fall meeting," said Karin De Francis, Executive Vice President of the Maryland Jockey Club and sister of MJC president and CEO Joe De Francis. "The quality of racing on Saturday will be top notch and it is important for us to give the fans first-class activities and entertainment to go with it. We are very proud of this day and what it means to our family in celebrating our father's legacy."