Street Lute and Miss Leslie, a pair of Virginia-Certified horses that scored tight respective stakes victories in the Gin Talking and Anne Arundel County Stakes December 26 at Laurel.
Street Lute went gate-to-wire in her seven-furlong dirt test and held off fast closing Fraudulent by a nose at the wire. The 2-year-old Street Magician filly captured her fifth overall victory this year from six starts. Previously, the Kentucky-bred won the Small Wonder Stakes at Delaware and a pair of stakes at Laurel — the Smart Hale and Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship. Jockey Xavier Perez directed the victory for owner, Lucky 7 Stables. The John Robb trainee has bankrolled $290,220 this year. Street Lute spent her six-month residency at Diana McClure’s DMC Carousel Stable in Berryville.
Maryland-bred Miss Leslie came from 2 1/2 lengths down at the top of the stretch to win the Anne Arundel County Stakes by a head over Buckey’s Charm — her third straight victory. She finished the 1 1/16ths dirt stakes in 1:44.97 and beat six others. The 2-year-old Paynter filly broke her maiden November 13 and followed that with an allowance win December 10, both at Laurel. The Claudio Gonzalez trainee has bankrolled $108,630 this year for owner, BB Horses. Prior to racing, Miss Leslie spent time at Morgans Ford Farm & Warwick Stables in Front Royal.
Eight other Virginia-Certified horses reached the winners circle in addition to the two stakes victors. Swirrlie Shirlie connected in gate-to-wire fashion, 2 1/2 lengths the best, on the same Laurel card. The 4-year-old Gemologist filly won her fourth of the year in a $17,595 fillies/mares claimer. Owned by R D B Services and trained by Richard D’Angelo, the Kentucky-bred was making her 38th lifetime start and recorded her 10th victory. She has earned $146,790. Swirrlie Shirlie spent her Virginia residency at Horseshoe Hill Farm in Ashland.
Maryland-bred Gimme’s Goldengirl also found success at Laurel when she captured a $42,273 waiver maiden claimer there December 27. The 4-year-old Algorithms filly was making just her second lifetime start for the M and D Stable.
A pair of other Kentucky-breds also reached the winners circle Christmas week. Larimar prevailed in a $19,000 claimer Penn National, the seventh different track she has competed at, from eight lifetime starts. The 3-year-old daughter of Majesticperfection broke into the win column this summer in a $46,000 maiden special weight at Colonial Downs. The winner is owned and bred by David Ross and is trained by Jeremiah O’Dwyer. She spent her pre-racing months at Audley Farm in Berryville.
Farther south, Mozano captured a one mile, 40-yard maiden claiming race handily at Tampa Bay Downs as a heavy betting choice, crossing 5 1/4 lengths in front. The 3-year-old Verrazano gelding took control at three-quarters, opened up by 4 1/2 entering the stretch and added another one length cushion while powering home. Owned by Faron McCubbins, Mozano notched his ninth “in the money” finish of 2020.
A trio of Pennsylvania-breds got their picture taken at Penn National during holiday week. Red Barn Farms’ Stormy Spell won her second straight in a $14,400 claiming sprint. The 3-year-old Well Spelled filly broke her maiden November 6 at Penn. Lord Winsalot also gained his second win of 2020 in a $19,000 sprint race for owner Tom Coulter. The 3-year-old Alternation gelding spent his Virginia residency at Rose Retreat Farm in Goochland. Expressful Grace prevailed in a maiden claimer December 22 for owner Kendra Rentz-Gustafson. The 4-year-old Bullsbay filly had three runner-up finishes prior to gaining the win.
Finally, Roger Sterling’s Cubic Sound won a claiming race at Mountaineer December 22, his fourth of 2020. The 3-year-old Creative Cause gelding, who has bankrolled $56,725 this year, was raised at Bel Voi Farm in Berryville.
The VTA Certified program rewards horse owners who send their babies to Virginia to spend a minimum six-month residency prior to December 31 of their 2-year-old year. Once they begin racing, owners receive a 25% bonus for wins at tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region. A complete list of Certified farms and program specifics is vabred.org.