Crafty Schemer returns to Laurel Park, where he won the Dave's Friend last year, as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Fire Plug Saturday.
The Fire Plug shares top billing on Laurel's Saturday card with another sprint, the $100,000 What A Summer for fillies and mares.
Crafty Schemer will break from post eight and carry Ryan Fogelsonger for trainer Benny Feliciano. The 8-year-old son of Crafty Prospector also won the CC Rapid Transit at Canterbury Downs last year and Fogelsonger was aboard for both victories. In his final start of the year, last month's De Francis Dash (gr. I), Crafty Schemer set the pace into the stretch before finishing fourth. Since being claimed by Feliciano in October 2005, the gelding has finished first or second 10 times in 16 starts.
“He is doing really well,” Feliciano said. “He looks fantastic and couldn’t be doing any better right now. I don’t think the layoff will bother him at all. We have found a niche with the horse with Fogelsonger. He seems to run a better race when he is close to the pace.”
Ah Day (7-2) kicks off his 4-year-old campaign on his home territory. The King Leatherbury trainee won seven of fifteen starts last year including six added money scores. He is two for three at Saturday’s distance and will carry jockey Mario Pino. They teamed up to win the Japan Racing Association Stakes last year.
City Weekend and Celtic Innis are both listed at 4-1 on the morning line. City Weekend has won three of five starts at Laurel Park and will carry Jeremy Rose for trainer Mike Gorham. Celtic Innis, who hit his best stride in late summer, winning stakes at Colonial Downs and Delaware Park, reunites with jockey Rosie Napravnik for trainer Tim Keefe.
Defending champion Abbondanza (12-1), Kazoo (6-1), Country Moggie (10-1) and Gold Cluster (20-1) round out a strong field.
$100,000 Fire Plug Stakes (Race 7, 3:28 p.m.), 4 & Up, 6 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Ah Day (MD), Mario G. Pino, 124
2. City Weekend (KY), Jeremy Rose, 118
3. Abbondanza (FL), no rider, 120
4. Gold Cluster (KY), Luis Garcia, 118
5. Celtic Innis (MD), A. R. Napravnik, 124
6. Kazoo (FL), no rider, 124
7. Country Moggie (MD), Jose C. Caraballo, 118
8. Crafty Schemer (KY), Ryan Fogelsonger, 120
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