LAUREL -- Maryland trainer Bill Donovan is panning for big nuggets this weekend.
Donovan has shipped the two top horses in his stable, Dash for Dotty and Diamond Duo, to Arlington Park and Monmouth Park, respectively, to compete in races worth a combined $450,000.
He is especially enthusiastic about the chances of Diamond Duo, the 3-year-old filly who faces seven rivals, including Maryland-based Known Feminist, Land Running and Sweet Willa, in the $150,000 Monmouth Oaks at 1 1/8 miles.
"She's really good right now," said Donovan. "She worked here ** before she left and breezed a mile in 1 minute, 42 seconds galloping. Evidently, she liked that track."
Diamond Duo won the $100,000 Post Deb Stakes at Monmouth in her last start, but faces some tough competition, including Miss Legality, winner of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes the day before the Preakness. Tommy Turner gets the mount on Diamond Duo.
Donovan said Dash for Dotty, eighth in the Preakness, is prepping well for the Grade II $300,000 American Derby in suburban Chicago.
"He's doing great. I think he'll run big," said the trainer, who will employ jockey Jorge Velasquez to ride his horse.
The second gem of the mid-American Triple, the race is at 1 3/16 miles on the turf. Dash for Dotty has been in the charge of Donovan's son.
Edgar Prado is scheduled to ride Older But Smarter against Dash for Dotty.
Softball for injured jockey
The Laurel jockey colony will participate in a softball game Monday in 1Atlantic City, N.J., to benefit injured rider Sidney Underwood.
They will compete against other jockeys from tracks throughout the East Coast under the sponsorship of Laurel president Joe De Francis.
Simulcast at Rosecroft
Rosecroft Raceway will simulcast the $500,000 Art Rooney Memorial Pace final from Yonkers tomorrow night.
Western Hanover, who posted the fastest mile ever at Yonkers (1:52 4/5) in his elimination race, will be featured.
It is a weekend for the feminine set at Rosecroft with the $66,008 First Lady Pace final tonight and the $120,000 Colonial Lady Trot in two divisions tomorrow.