$2.65 Million In Stakes To Be Offered During Laurel Park Winter Meet

A trio of allowance events will highlight Friday’s nine-race New Year’s Day program that launches the 2021 winter meet at Laurel Park in Laurel, Md.

The 41-day winter meet is scheduled to run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, March 28, with a 12:25 p.m. first post. Starting Sunday, March 14, post time will move to 12:40 p.m.

There will be special Monday holiday programs on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 18, and Presidents Day, Feb. 15.

A total of 24 stakes worth $2.65 million in purses will be offered during the winter meet, starting with the Saturday, Jan. 16 Winter Carnival program of six stakes including the inaugural $100,000 Spectacular Bid for 3-year-olds and return of the $100,000 Xtra Heat for 3-year-old fillies.

Winter Sprintfest will take place Saturday, Feb. 13 topped by the $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3) for fillies and mares 4 and older and the $250,000 The General’s Stake (G3), formerly the General George, for 4-year-olds and up.

Five stakes including the $100,000 Private Terms for 3-year-olds and $100,000 Beyond the Wire for 3-year-old fillies help comprise the Good Samaritan Day program Saturday, March 13.

Saturday, April 17 will feature seven stakes led by the $125,000 Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds and $125,000 Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies. Once again, the 1 1/8-mile Tesio will serve as a ‘Win and In’ race for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the Preakness Stakes (G1), and the 1 1/16-mile Weber City will be a ‘Win and In’ race for the Black-Eyed Susan (G2).

Friday’s New Year’s Eve card includes an about 1 1/16-mile allowance for Maryland-bred/sired horses 4 and up in Race 4 that marks the return of Mine Not Mine. Trained by Brittany Russell, Mine Not Mine was second in the Miracle Wood and third in the Private Terms before going to the sidelines after finishing off the board in a May 31 allowance at Laurel.

Race 5 is an optional claiming allowance for newly turned 3-year-old fillies sprinting 5 ½ furlongs that drew a field of eight including 2-1 program favorite Kewpie Doll, $200,000 yearling Mischiefs Model and Trip to Freedom, third in the Maryland Million Lassie.

The New Year’s Day feature comes in Race 7, a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance for 4-year-olds and up where Grade 2 winner Still Having Fun, with purse earnings of more than $570,000, will face seven rivals including stakes-placed Tybalt, Hanalei’s Houdini and My Friends Beer.

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