A Preview of Virginia-Bred Stakes Day, this Saturday 9/26 at Laurel Park

(Warrenton, VA — 9/25/2015) —- Fields have been drawn and are now set for Saturday’s Virginia-bred Stakes Extravaganza at Laurel Park. The $300,000 event features five Virginia-bred stakes that each carry a $60,000 purse along with the 11th running of the Grade III, $150,000 Commonwealth Oaks presented by the Virginia Equine Alliance.

2014 Punch Line champ Two Notch Road returns Saturday to defend his title as he squares off against nine other turf sprinters in the 2015 edition. The impressive field includes seven starters with over $100,000 in earnings.

The 8 year old Partner’s Hero gelding, an early even money betting choice, has $309,601 in grass earnings from 4 wins and 4 thirds. He won the ’14  edition by going five wide in the turn to win by two lengths in a field of 11. Bred by James Hackman, Two Notch Road is out of the Capote mare, Caplana.  Fresh off an allowance win at Charles Town July 29th, Simmstown is the second pick at 9-2, though the 7 year old Limehouse gelding has had most of his success on dirt. Of his $165,840 bankroll, only $9,821 has come on turf.

Other six digit life earners in the field include Anybodyreallyknow, Cap ‘n Raymond, Jake Rattle N Roll, Pride of the Fleet and Service for Ten.

Mike Trombetta’s Seeking Her Glory is 5-2 chalk in the Brookemeade Stakes, which has attracted a wide open field of 12 fillies and mares that will compete 1 1/16th miles. The 4 year old Giants Causeway filly has been racing against solid company throughout her career including an appearance in the Grade I Ashland Stakes in 2014. This year, she has earned an allowance win at Gulfstream and a close third in the same company at Laurel August 7th. Seeking Her Glory, out of the Seeking The Gold mare, Seeking Atlantis, was bred by the Estate of Edward P. Evans.

Complete St. and Leda’s Swan are the respective next two early selections. Trainer Lilith Boucher, whose Mushroom King kicked off last Sunday’s Virginia Downs event at Great Meadow with a victory, conditions Complete St., a 5 year old St. Averil mare out of Complete Number by Polish Numbers. She, like Seeking Her Glory, has been a stakes and allowance competitor most of the last two years. Leda’s Swan lost the 2014 edition of the Brookemeade by a neck but trainer Reid Nagle’s 6 year old Macho Uno mare will be making her first start since December.

Rose Brier and Special Envoy appear to stand out in the Bert Allen Stakes, which has drawn a field of nine males. The former has been named even money early pick while the latter follows closely at 7-5. Rose Brier won this stakes handily a year ago by 3 1/4 lengths and boasts the highest turf bankroll of any with $257,980. The 6 year old Mizzen Mast gelding has had consistent showings in all 9 starts since that ’14 Allen triumph including tight runner-up efforts in stakes at Gulfstream and Mountaineer Park.

Special Envoy, an Armaud Delacour trainee, has made 11 career starts, all on turf, and has 9 “in the money” finishes. The 4 year old Stroll gelding came up a neck shy in the Grade III Cliffhanger Stakes at Monmouth last month to another Virginia-bred, Middleburg. Special Envoy did kick off August with an allowance win at the Jersey Shore oval, and connected twice in similar company this past winter at Tampa Bay Downs. Rose Brier was bred by William Backer and Special Envoy was bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone.

A field of 13 ladies will go to the gate in the Oakley Stakes including the winner of the 2014 Jamestown Stakes, Hooligan. The 2-1 morning line choice made her 2015 bow with a nice allowance win at Pimlico on the Preakness Day card but has finished no better than fifth in a trio of outs since. Bred by the Audley Farm Equine, LLC and owned/trained by Wesley Ward, Hooligan is a 3 year old Exchange rate filly out of Exceptionally by El Prado.

With only one start in her portfolio, Exaggerated is the least experienced filly or mare in the field but was still named second early choice at 5-2. Another Armaud Delacour trainee, the 3 year old Blame filly made a successful lifetime debut August 16th with an impressive 2 1/4 length score at Laurel. That 5 1/2 furlong turf test is the same distance that the Oakley is contested at. Exaggerated was bred by the Hart Farm, is owned by the Lael Stables, and is out of Miz United States by Valid Appeal.

Another 13 horse field will go to post in the Jamestown Stakes, which is exclusively for 2 year olds. Six fillies and seven colts will compete in the 5 1/2 furlong event. Gem, 7-2 early choice, was fifth in her only start thus far on August 25th, an $83,000 maiden special weight sprint at Saratoga. The Elusive Quality filly was bred by the Morgans Ford Farm & Bill Mott, and is out of Skipstone by Montbrook.

Holiday Wishes, a Harlan’s Holiday filly, is second early pick at 4-1. With five starts, she is the most experienced of any freshman in the field. The Gina Rosenthal trainee collected a gate to wire win in maiden special weight company at Delaware August 25th and will shorten by two furlongs in the Jamestown. Holiday Wishes was bred by Audley Farm Equine and has earned $48,215 thus far.

Post time at Laurel is 1:10 PM.