Weekend at Laurel

October 30, 1999|By BOB PICKERING

Today

The winner and runner-up of the Maryland Million Oaks are among a dozen 3-year-old fillies entered in the Martha Washington Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

The $100,000 event, which carries Grade III status, is set for its 17th running. Saratoga Friends, owned by the Saratoga Friends Stable, and Perfect Challenge, a 3 B Stable colorbearer, were the first two to cross the finish line in the recent Oaks. Neither has received her diploma on turf.

Top billing in the event is likely to go to Wild Heart Dancing, which came off a four-month vacation to win the Boiling Spring Breeders' Cup Stakes, a $200,000, Grade III grass race at the Meadowlands.

Tomorrow

After 22 fillies passed the entry box for the Park Heights Stakes, Laurel officials split the event into two divisions that will go as the sixth and ninth events on a 10-race card. With standard time now in effect, post time for the first race will be 12: 15 p.m.

Each section, to be run at six furlongs on the turf, will carry a $60,000 purse for older fillies and mares. Christiana Stable's Under the Rug and Burning Daylight Farm's Passeggiata will share top billing in the sixth race. Under the Rug owns back-to-back victories at Saratoga and Laurel, respectively, while Passeggiata peaked last winter when she won four races in a row, including the Francis Scott Key Stakes and Barbara Fritchie Handicap.

Marquise Miss, which left Colonial Downs with a four-length win on the turf, is the likely choice in the ninth. She and Beauty Queen, a Philadelphia Park-based filly who beat allowance company at Delaware Park last out, are the only last-time winners in the field.

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