Laurel Park's Sept. 10 Turf Festival, highlighted by five grass stakes worth a combined $500,000, attracted more than 200 nominations, Maryland Jockey Club officials said.
The Turf Festival, which features $575,000 in total stakes purses, kicks off the Maryland racetrack's lucrative fall meet featuring 32 stakes—four of them graded—with total purses of $3.25 million. The meet begins Sept. 9 and runs through Dec. 31.
The $150,000 Lady Baltimore Stakes, for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, attracted 46 nominations including nine graded stakes winners including Isabella Sings and Itsonlyactingdad from the barn of Todd Pletcher; Tuttipaesi; Tammy the Torpedo; Tiger Ride; Photo Call; and Onus, winner of the 2015 Commonwealth Oaks (gr. IIIT) at Laurel.
The $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/2 miles, drew 36 nominations including two graded stakes winners from the barn of trainer Graham Motion: Cliff Hanger (gr. IIIT) winner Can'thelpbelieving and Sky Classic (Can-IIT) winner Messi.
The Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs attracted 33 nominees including Kathleen Willier's Greatbullsoffire, who broke his maiden at Laurel in July for trainer Hamilton Smith before winning the Strike Your Colors Stakes at Delaware Park Aug. 4. Other nominees for the Futurity included Boys From Boston, fourth in the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs; Follow the Rainbow, third in the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park Aug. 7, and Line Judge, winner of the Aug. 27 Careless Navigator Stakes at Canterbury Park.
Nominated for the Selima, for 2-year-old fillies at 5 1/2 furlongs, is Lynch Racing's Clairvoyant Lady, winner of the White Clay Creek Stakes at Delaware Park Aug. 3, and Harlans Thunder, third in the Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course.
The $75,000 Shine Again Stakes, a seven-furlong event for non-winners of a sweepstakes, will also be run on the Sept. 10 program.