“Commonwealth Day” Preview of Oakley & Brookmeade Stakes For Virginia-Breds

Commonwealth Day” at Laurel is set for this Saturday with eight turf stakes scheduled.

The following five are for Virginia-breds at $60,000 apiece:

*Bert Allen Stakes – Race 1 (12:30 PM)

*Brookmeade Stakes – Race 3 (1:30 PM)

*Punch Line Stakes – Race 5 (2:30 PM)

*Oakley Stakes – Race 6 (3:00 PM)

*Jamestown Stakes – Race 9 (4:30 PM)

There is also a trio of open graded stakes that all used to be run at Colonial Downs: 

*$150,000 Commonwealth Oaks (Gr. 3) – Race 7 (3:30 PM)

*$200,000 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup  (Gr. 2) – Race 8 (4:00 PM)

*$200,000 Commonwealth Derby (Gr. 2) – Race 11 (5:30 PM)


Here is a preview of the Oakley & Brookmeade Stakes, courtesy of a Maryland Jockey Club press release.

Fresh off her first career victory, Cross Roads makes a quick return to competition Saturday in the Oakley Stakes at Laurel Park. The Oakley is for Virginia-bred fillies and mares going 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass.
Owner Roddy Harrison and trainer Lacey Gaudet claimed Cross Roads for $16,000 on Sept. 22 at Laurel Park and are sending her right back into competition in her first stakes.

Cross Roads was best in a $22,000 maiden claimer at Laurel September 22nd. Photo by Jim McCue.

“She came out of that last race great,” Gaudet said. “The owner originally claimed her for a broodmare prospect, so we are kind of looking to get some black type on her this weekend.”
The 3-year-old daughter of Quality Road led from gate to wire for that maiden win under Forest Boyce, who has been aboard for all five of her races and will be up again in the Oakley Stakes. They will start from post seven in the field of 11.
“She was great in front the last time,” Gaudet said. “Forest knows her really well.  We’re really going to leave that in the hands of Forest.
She drew all right. It looks like the toughest horse is on the outside. There is a little bit of speed, so we’re going to hope that Forest knows her a little bit more than we do. She came out of the race in great shape, so we’re going to give her a try.

Lael Stables’ Exaggerated made it 3-for-4 when she captured an allowance race at Laurel Nov. 11, 2015

Lael Stables’ 5-year-old mare Exaggerated drew the outside post and is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Exaggerated won the Oakley in 2015. She will be making her second start in 2017 and first since April on Saturday in the Oakley.
Secret or Not Hopes Third Time is the Charm
Larry Le Hew’s Secret or Not makes her third straight start in the $60,000 Brookmeade Stakes Saturday at Laurel Park. She was third in 2015 and fourth in 2016 in the 1 1/16 miles turf race for Virginia-bred fillies and mares.
Trainer A. Ferris Allen III is hoping that the firm conditions expected for the “Class on the Grass” program will be good for the 5-year-old daughter of Orientate. She drew post three in the field of seven and will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado.

Secret Or Not earned her second straight win by capturing a $41,000 allowance race at Laurel December 11, 2015.

“She’s a real nice, consistent filly,” Allen said. “She’s probably not as fancy as a couple that are picked ahead of her in the race, but we get a little different surface this week, it looks like. We’ve been running over softer grass. The grass course has sped up and we think that might help us.”