Sept. 24 Card Offers Eight Stakes, Three Graded, Worth $850,000 in Purses
LAUREL, MD – A total of 219 horses were nominated to eight stakes, three of them graded, worth $850,000 in purses on Commonwealth Day, Saturday Sept. 24, at Laurel Park.
All eight stakes will be contested over Laurel’s world-class turf course, topped by the $200,000 Commonwealth Turf Cup (G2) for 3-year-olds and up at a mile, and the $200,000 Commonwealth Derby (G2) for 3-year-olds and $150,000 Commonwealth Oaks (G3) for 3-year-old fillies, both at 1 1/8 miles.
Also on tap are five $60,000 stakes for Virginia-bred/sired horses: the Jamestown for 2-year-olds, Punch Line for 3-year-olds and up and Oakley for females 3 and up, all at 5 ½ furlongs; and the Bert Allen for 3-year-olds and up and Brookmeade for females 3 and up, each at 1 1/16 miles.
The Turf Cup (G2) had the most nominations with 36 led by Grade 1 winners Force the Pass and Chiropractor; French Group 1 winner Full Mast; multiple stakes winner A Lot, most recently second in the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga; Grade 3 winners Blacktype, Coalport, Dubai Sky, Long On Value, Reporting Star and Surgical Strike; Ghost Hunter, a winner of four straight for trainer Jamie Ness; March, a multiple graded-stakes winner on dirt last year; Laurel-based multiple stakes winner Phlash Phelps; Rose Brier, undefeated at Laurel with three stakes wins; and 2016 Mervin Muniz (G2) winner Take the Stand.
Graded stakes winners American Patriot, Conquest Daddyo, Isotherm, Oscar Nominated; 2015 Maryland Million Nursery winner Corvus; stakes winners Franklin Towers, He’ll Pay, Keystoneforvictory, Rafting and Whatawonderflworld; and Scholar Athlete, fourth in two legs of Canada’s Triple Crown this year, are among the 31 horses nominated to the Commonwealth Derby.
Won last year by Onus, who set the Fort Marcy Turf Course record winning the Lady Baltimore Stakes Sept. 10 at Laurel, the Commonwealth Oaks attracted 29 nominations including Family Tree, a multiple graded stakes winner on dirt this year; graded stakes winners Cheekaboo, Noble Beauty, Pricedtoperfection and Tin Type Gal; graded stakes-placed Elysea’s World and Galileo’s Song; and stakes winners Involuntary, My Impression, On Leave, Shake Down Baby, Super Allison and Try Your Luck.
Trainer Jane Cibelli also made defending champion Rose Brier one of 30 nominees to the Bert Allen, joined by 2015 Commonwealth Derby winner One Go All Go; 2014 Jerome (G2) winner Noble Moon; Cat Fiftyfive, third to Rose Brier in the Edward P. Evans June 25 at Pimlico; and stakes winners Code West and Long On Value.
The Jamestown attracted 25 nominations, while 2015 Jamestown winner Away We Go is among 23 nominees to the Oakley and the top three finishers from the June 25 White Oak Stakes at Pimlico – Two Notch Road, Moon River and Available, top 23 horses nominated to the Punch Line. The Brookmeade had 22 horses nominated led by Queen Caroline, a winner of four straight including the Nellie Mae Cox June 25 at Pimlico.