The Maryland Jockey Club today announced a 33-stakes fall program worth $ 3.525 million in scholarships for Laurel Park led by the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) and 36e edition of the Jim McKay Maryland Million.
The fall competition begins Thursday, September 9 and runs until Saturday, December 31.
Field Pass makes the front page of the G3 BWI Turf Cup
Coach Mike Maker is hopeful that the relief of the class will give the winner of multiple Field Pass rankings his first G3 BWI Turf Cup victory of 2021 on Saturday in Pimlico.
The Six-Stadium De Francis for ages 3 and up will help kick off the Fall Stakes Calendar as one of four stakes worth $ 500,000 in scholarships on Saturday, September 18th. Named in honor of the late President and President of Laurel and the historic Pimlico Race Course, its illustrious list of winners includes Hall of Famer Housebuster, fellow sprint champions Cherokee Run, Smoke Glacken, Thor’s Echo and Benny the Bull, and Lite the Fuse, the only two-time winner of the race.
Also on September 18, the $ 100,000 Weathervane for fillies and mares 3 years and over sprinting over six stages and a pair of one mile events for ages 3 and up, the $ 100,000 Twixt for women and $ 100,000 Polynesian.
On Saturday October 2, five stakes, all on grass, worth $ 600,000 in purses, highlighted by the Laurel Futurity of $ 150,000 for 2-year-olds and $ 150,000 Selima for 2-year-old fillies, both covering 1 1/16 miles. They are joined by the $ 100,000 Laurel Dash which sprints through six stages and a pair of rated stakes, the $ 100,000 Japan Turf Cup at 1 ½ mile and $ 100,000 All Along for fillies and mares at 1 1 / 8 miles.
The groundbreaking Maryland Million, which debuted in 1986 and inspired copy programs across the United States and Canada, returns on Saturday, October 23 with eight stakes anchored by the $ 150,000 Classic for 3-year-olds and more at 1 1/8 miles. Juveniles are in the spotlight in the $ 100,000 nursery and $ 100,000 Lassie for females, both at six instars.
Maryland Million will also serve the $ 100,000 Sprint (3 years and over, six stages), $ 100,000 Distaff (fillies and mares 3 years and over, seven stages), $ 100,000 Turf (3 years and over, 1 1/8 miles), $ 100,000 ladies (fillies and mares aged 3 and over, 1 1/8 miles) and $ 75,000 Turf Sprint (from 3 years old, 5 ½ stages).
Juveniles will once again take center stage on Saturday, November 13 in the $ 100,000 James F. Lewis III and $ 100,000 Smart Halo, the latter for fillies, both at six stages. The card will also include the $ 100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go 1 1/16 mile for fillies and mares 3 years and older.
Thanksgiving weekend will feature five stakes valued at $ 450,000 in purses spread over two days. On Friday, November 26, horses bred in Maryland will be featured with the $ 75,000 Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial for children 3 years and older and the $ 75,000 Memorial for fillies and mares 3 years and older.
Saturday, November 27 features the last stakes races in Maryland for the 3 consecutive years, the $ 100,000 Safely Kept for fillies and $ 100,000 City of Laurel, both sprinting through seven stages. Additionally, horses aged 3 and over will travel 1 1/8 miles in the $ 100,000 Richard W. Small.
The final month of the calendar year will feature eight stakes valued at $ 850,000 in scholarships, launched by the $ 100,000 Maryland Juvenile Futurity for 2-year-olds and the $ 100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship each. at seven stadiums on Saturday, December 4.
Christmas Day Stakes return on Saturday, Dec. 26 with six stakes valued at $ 650,000 in purses, including $ 100,000 Heft for 2-year-olds and $ 100,000 Gin Talking for 2-year-old fillies sprinting on seven stages, $ 100,000 Dave’s Friend for ages 3 and up and $ 100,000 Willa On the Move for women ages 3 and up, each at 6 ½ stages.
New to the stakes calendar: the $ 150,000 Robert T. Manfuso for ages 3 and up going to 1 1/16 miles and $ 100,000 Carousel at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares 3 years and over. The carousel, which achieved Level 3 status from 1988 to 1997, was last performed in 2002 at Laurel.
Manfuso passed away on March 19, 2020 at the age of 82. Former Laurel and Pimlico owner and longtime partner of trainer Katy Voss, Manfuso was instrumental in revitalizing thoroughbred racing in Maryland. Owner and breeder who started Chanceland Farm with Voss in 1987, Manfuso bred 2016 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Cathryn Sophia and was named Maryland Breeder of the Year with his filly who won the honors of the horse of the year of breeding Maryland.
The extended Preakness Meet in Pimlico will run through Sunday August 22. The live races will be held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium from August 26 through Labor Day, September 6.