Grade II winner Lady Sabelia will be seeking to defend her title as she tops a field of seven fillies and mares entered in the Willa On the Move Stakes, one of three stakes each worth $100,000 at Laurel Park Dec. 5.
The co-highweight at 124 pounds, Mrs. Frank Wright's homebred Lady Sabelia brings a record of nine wins from 17 starts into the six-furlong Willa On the Move as the 5-year-old daughter of Majestic Warrior has been a model of consistency with only two unplaced efforts on her resume.
Last year's Willa On the Move marked the season finale for Lady Sabelia, who took the What a Summer Stakes and Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel in her first two outings of 2015. Sixth in the Madison Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, the front-running mare was caught late to finish second in the Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
The $605,465 earner comes into Saturday's race off a 7 1/2-length off-the-pace victory in the Pumpkin Pie Stakes at Belmont Park for trainer Robin Graham.
"We just didn't want her to get too rapid," Graham said of the uncharacteristic running style in Lady Sabelia's last start. "When she gets in front and they're behind her she gets competitive and gets too rapid. But if you work around that, everything's good."
Also assigned 124 pounds in the Willa On the Move is Maria Romero's Galiana, an eight-time stakes winner who has won or placed in 22 of 30 starts and earned $638,861 for owner Maria Romero and trainer Jose Rodriguez. The 5-year-old Stonesider mare has won the Tax Free Shopping Distaff Stakes at Delaware Park the last three years.
The two other stakes on the card are for juveniles, with stakes winner Never Gone South seeking his third win in four starts in the Marylander, which drew a field of seven males. Trained by Cathal Lynch for M M G Racing Stable, the Munnings colt won the Strike Your Colors Stakes before finishing second in the James Lewis III Stakes last time out.
The Gin Talking Stakes drew a balanced field of 2-year-old fillies, with Sinatra Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding's Mecke's Madalyn seeking her third victory in as many starts. The New York-bred daughter of Desert Party trained by Corby Caiazzo won the Shesastonecoldfox at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack in her previous start.
Laurel Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 5
- 2 yo Fillies
- 2:12 PM (local)
|1||1Prognosis (KY)||Jevian Toledo||119||Tim Woolley||8/1|
|2||2Look Who's Talking (MD)||Forest Boyce||119||Robin L. Graham||5/1|
|3||3Thundering Sky (KY)||Trevor McCarthy||114||George Weaver||12/1|
|4||4Mecke's Madalyn (NY)||Kaylia Albright||119||Corby Caiazzo||30/1|
|5||5Wait Your Turn (KY)||Julian Pimentel||119||Carol Fisher||10/1|
|6||6Cathryn Sophia (MD)||Roberto J. Rosado||119||John C. Servis||1/2|
|7||7Dare to Be (KY)||Victor R. Carrasco||119||Rodney Jenkins||8/1|
Laurel Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 7
- 2 yo
- 3:07 PM (local)
|1||1Midnight Lovin (KY)||Julian Pimentel||120||Emanuel J. Geralis||15/1|
|2||2Vorticity (KY)||Victor R. Carrasco||120||James L. Lawrence, II||8/5|
|3||3Professor Zoom (KY)||Jevian Toledo||120||Damon R. Dilodovico||20/1|
|4||4Never Gone South (KY)||Trevor McCarthy||120||Cathal A. Lynch||7/5|
|5||5Captain Alex (MD)||Xavier Perez||120||Donnovan Haughton||20/1|
|6||6Tale of E Dubai (PA)||UNKNOWN||120||John E. Salzman, Jr.||10/1|
|7||7Runningfromthefeds (IL)||Alex Canchari||120||Leo Rodriguez||9/2|
Laurel Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 9
- 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
- 4:01 PM (local)
|1||1Dulcify (KY)||Victor R. Carrasco||118||Kieron Magee||10/1|
|2||2Dallas Cowgirl (KY)||Oscar Flores||118||Flint W. Stites||20/1|
|3||3Medaglia d'Argento (KY)||Jevian Toledo||118||George Weaver||20/1|
|4||4Raging Smoke (PA)||Clinton L. Potts||122||Michael W. Salvaggio, Jr.||15/1|
|5||5Disco Chick (PA)||Trevor McCarthy||118||Mario Serey, Jr.||15/1|
|6||6Galiana (NY)||Abel Lezcano||124||Jose S. Rodriguez||6/1|
|7||7Lady Sabelia (KY)||Horacio Karamanos||124||Robin L. Graham||2/5|
|8||8Lionhearted Lady (MD)||Xavier Perez||120||Hamilton A. Smith||12/1|