Laurel Winter Meet Rolls Into Final Weekend With McCarthy, Gonzalez Assured Titles

Live Thoroughbred horse racing returns to Laurel Park in Laurel, Md., with a nine-race card Friday, March 29 that kicks off the final weekend of the track’s 46-day winter meet.

First race post time is 1:10 p.m.

Trevor McCarthy, Maryland’s leading rider in 2014 and 2016, leads the jockey standings with 50 victories, 23 more than runner-up Victor Carrasco. The title will be the second straight for McCarthy, 24, following Laurel’s 2018 fall stand and his seventh overall.

McCarthy’s biggest win this winter came with Robert LaPenta and Harry Rosenblum’s Uncontested in the $250,000 General George (G3) Feb. 16 for trainer Jennifer Patterson. He also leads all jockeys with $1,525,775 in purse earnings.

Claudio Gonzalez, 42, has won with seven of his last 16 starters and sits atop the trainer standings with 39 wins and $976,333 in purses earned. Jamie Ness, Jeremiah Englehart and Hugh McMahon share the runner-up spot with 12 wins apiece.

Gonzalez is Maryland’s two-time defending leading trainer and will formally clinch his fourth straight meet title at Laurel and sixth of the last seven dating back to the 2017 winter-spring meet. It will be his ninth overall meet championship.

“Everybody is happy. My team, they do all the hard work. Everybody sees my name and they see me, but behind the scenes everybody is working really hard,” Gonzalez said. “My barn is full now, and it’s a good problem to have a lot of horses. I have seven 2-year-olds coming in, and I have five already. We’re excited.”

The 20-cent Rainbow 6, solved for a $41,809.64 payout Sunday, March 24, begins anew spanning races 4-9 Friday. The sequence includes a $40,000 maiden special weight for fillies 3 and up going seven furlongs in Race 6 which drew a field of nine including Song of Mine, an $800,000 daughter of Hall of Famer Ghostzapper winless in four previous races, and Peace Corps, a $270,000 yearling making her third career start for trainer Graham Motion.

There will also be a $1,094.81 carryover in the $1 Super Hi-5 for Friday’s opener, 5 ½-furlong maiden event for fillies and mares 3 and older.

Laurel Park’s 19-day spring meet opens Friday, April 5 and races Thursday to Sunday through Sunday, May 5. There will be no racing Easter Sunday, April 21, and a special Easter Monday program April 22.

The highlight of the spring meet comes Saturday, April 20 with the Spring Stakes Spectacular program featuring seven stakes worth $750,000 in purses led by the $125,000 Xpressbet Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds and the $125,000 Weber City Miss for 3-year-old fillies.

The 1 1/8-mile Tesio serves as a “Win and In” qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18, while the 1 1/16-mile Weber City Miss is a ‘Win and In’ event for the 95th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 17, both races at legendary Pimlico Race Course.

The post Laurel Winter Meet Rolls Into Final Weekend With McCarthy, Gonzalez Assured Titles appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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