LAUREL -- While the racing focus shifts to Gulfstream Park this weekend for the Florida Derby -- the first major East Coast prep for the Triple Crown races -- Laurel will hold two $50,000 stakes events.
Today's Genuine Risk Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles features Land Running, who started her career competing for an $8,500 maiden tag and has climbed steadily.
With five victories in eight lifetime starts and no finishes off the board, Land Running is coming off a front-running victory in the $60,000 Jameela Stakes on Feb. 23 under her regular rider, Clarence "Jo Jo" Ladner.
She will be facing only one rival from that race, Starlight Surprise, who rallied for third.
Tomorrow's feature will be the $50,000 guaranteed Mister Diz Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters.
Included in that five-horse field is Sticks And Bricks, a Triple Crown nominee.
NOTES: Kent Desormeaux continues to thrive in California, despite a suspension. With his victory aboard Best Pal in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap last weekend, Desormeaux zoomed into first place among the nation's riders in purses won ($2,705,000). The Best Pal-Desormeaux combination has captured all three of its starts this year for $955,000. The former Maryland riding star has 62 winners among 299 mounts, a 20.7 winning percentage. . . . Jockey Andrea Seefeldt and two members of the Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins, offensive tackle Jim Lachey and safety Brad Edwards, will be the featured guests at Laurel's handicapping seminar today at 11 a.m. It will be held on the first floor of the clubhouse. . . . Third-choice Kelly's Class got a good break and was never seriously threatened after opening a five-length lead to win yesterday's feature, a $19,000 allowance test. The 2-1 favorite, Colonel Hill, rallied for second.