Special Envoy, Queen Caroline Score In First Two “Class On The Grass” Events At Laurel Saturday

Special Envoy (#4 outside) edged Rose Brier (#3 inside) in a thriller Saturday in the $75,000 Edward Evans Stakes at Laurel Park. This was the first of four turf stakes on the program for Virginia-bred or sired horses.

Special Envoy (outside) battled defending champ Rose Brier to the wire in the June 24th Edward Evans Stakes. Photo by Jim McCue.

A year ago in the same event, Rose Brier got the best of Special Envoy by a length but the tables turned this afternoon. Jockey Daniel Centeno led the charge for trainer Arnaud Delacour. The 6 year old Stroll gelding was bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone. Special Envoy won for the first time since March, 2016. Rose Brier had been undefeated in his last four Virginia-bred stakes.

Special Envoy (outside) just edges Rose Brier (inside) in a classic matchup in the 2017 Evans Stakes. Photo by Jim McCue.

Queen Caroline successfully defended her title Saturday in the $75,000 Nellie Mae Cox Stakes, which was the second Virginia-bred stakes race on the “Class On The Grass” Breeders’ Day card at Laurel.

Queen Caroline went wire-to-wire in successfully defending her crown in the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes Saturday. Photo by Jim McCue.

The 4 year old Blame filly, bred by the Morgan’s Ford Farm, went gate to wire and held off Armoire to capture her first win in three starts this year. She most recently finished third in the Grade 3 Gallorette Stakes on Preakness Day at Pimlico. Queen Caroline completed the one mile turf event in 1:36.24. The winner is out of the Forestry mare, Queens Plaza, and is owned by Amy Moore.