Laurel weekend

August 21, 1999|By Bob Pickering

Today: Silhouette Stable's Grapeshot is the highweight and likely choice for the 11th running of the Damascus Handicap. The mile affair offers eight turfers a purse of $75,000. Kentucky-bred Grapeshot, which began his racing career in England but was sidelined for a year because of injury, has won three of four starts since arriving in Maryland under the care of trainer Ann Merryman. A strong challenge is expected from Smart Sunny, a Howard Wolfendale-trained gelding that has been victorious in his past two outings, including a front-running victory in the Mister Diz Stakes. La Reine's Terms, Lou's Bucks, Centre Stalls, Private Slip, Eastover Faith and Strike Zone round out the field.

Tomorrow: Case of the Blues is the lone stakes winner in a field of 10 that will match strides in the second running of the Laura Gal Stakes. The six-furlong event, for 2-year-old fillies, carries a purse of $40,000. After two strong showings in Belmont Park's Fashion and Astoria Stakes, the daughter of In Case tested fillies on her own turf and won the Toddler Stakes under Larry Reynolds. It was her lone outing over the Laurel strip. Big Bambu, a shipper from Ohio who won her lone start at Thistledown, should provide the Skeedattle II-colorbearer with a formidable challenge. The Alan Sobol-trained runner broke from the No. 8 post position in her debut and led every step of the way going unchallenged. High Code and the Richard Small-trained entry of Tranquility Jane and Latino are the only other last-time winners in the field. Others entered are Piccolinos Star, Meghan's Joy, Serela, Dawn Princess and Chez Allie.

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