Landing Zone Ready To Start New Streak in Allaire Du Pont Stakes At Laurel

BB Horses’ Landing Zone, who lost for the first time in five races in her most recent start, will get the chance to start a new streak when she lines up for her graded-stakes debut in Saturday’s $150,000 Allaire du Pont (G3) at Laurel Park in Maryland.

The 27th running of the 1 1/8-mile du Pont for fillies and mares 3 and up, the last graded event on the East Coast in 2020, headlines a Christmastide Day program of eight stakes worth $850,000 in purses.

Landing Zone, trained by Claudio Gonzalez, strung together four consecutive wins from Aug. 13 to Oct. 18, all facing older horses, at distances ranging from one to 1 1/16 miles. She made her stakes debut in the seven-furlong Safely Kept Nov. 28 at Laurel, running third behind multiple stakes winner Hello Beautiful.

“The last race I tried her at seven-eighths and I believe it’s too short for her. Still, she didn’t run bad, because the winner is a nice filly,” Gonzalez said. “Now we’ll try her long and, for me, it’s going to be much better for her. She’ll love it.”

Landing Zone, a 3-year-old daughter of Grade 1-winning millionaire Morning Line, drew Post 3 in a field of seven where all six of her rivals are already stakes winners. Angel Cruz will ride.

“She’s a nice filly. She’s always improving. The last few races she’s run really big,” Gonzalez said. “She’s more relaxed. She was very nervous in the paddock before and now she’s relaxed, she’s more mature. Hopefully as a 4-year-old she’s going to be much better.”

Another of Gonzalez’s sophomores, Euro Stable’s multiple stakes winner Lebda, will take on his elders for the first time looking to snap a four-race losing streak in the $100,000 Dave’s Friend for 3-year-olds and up sprinting six furlongs.

Winner of the Miracle Wood and Private Terms at Laurel to open 2020, he finished off the board in the Ohio Derby (G3) and Haskell (G1) and, most recently, the Chick Lang (G3) Oct. 1 at Pimlico Race Course. Scratched from the seven-furlong Concern Nov. 28 at Laurel with a minor foot issue, he will race for the first time as a gelding.

“He had to scratch last time but he came back good. We breezed him [Dec. 20] and he breezed good,” Gonzalez said. “The last time he had a problem with his feet. I put glue-on shoes on him and he was doing better and he breezed good. That’s why we decide to run. It would be beautiful to see him win again but it’s a tough race. It’s the first time he’s going to run against older horses and there’s some tough horses in there. We’re going to be happy if he tries and he comes back good.”

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