Fitzhugh LLC's Sticky appeared to be beaten at the top of the lane, but she found another gear in deep stretch to win Saturday's $85,000 Maryland Racing Media Handicap for fillies and mares by a half-length at Laurel Park.
Dynamic Deputy, her entrymate, finished second. Richard Small trains both horses.
Jozbin Santana rode the 4-year-old daughter of Concern
to a half-length victory in 1:54 for the nine furlongs. As the race unfolded, Ms. Louisa Quatorse stole off to lead, while the entry mates raced in close pursuit. Both Dynamic Deputy and Sassy Love moved to grab the lead at the top of the stretch, while Sticky appeared to be floundering along the rail.
With a furlong to the finish, Santana and Sticky came off the rail and rallied to shoot by them all. Dynamic Deputy out finished Sassy Love by a half-length for the place. The entry paid $2.80, $3 and $2.10 as the 2-5 choice in the field of seven betting interests. Sassy Love was $2.10 to show.
Sticky had not run since a second place finish in the Anne Arundel Stakes on the De Francis Dash undercard last November. The Maryland-bred is now five-for-eight lifetime, with two added money scores, for earnings of $204,650.
The Maryland Racing Media Association honored the connections of 2005 Maryland-based horse of the year Cherokee's Boy Saturday. Last year, as a 5-year old, the son of Citidancer
was the top earner in the state while winning seven races (including five stakes) for $368,050.
Owned by Baltimore natives Foard Wilgis and Dave Picarello, Cherokee's Boy finished the year ranked 16th on the all-time list of Maryland-bred horses with $969,886 in career earnings. The Gary Capuano trainee has failed to pick up a check just once in 40 career starts – the 2003 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).