Eleven Juvenile Fillies Entered In Laurel's Selima; Winner Likely To Go On To Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Eleven Juvenile Fillies Entered In Laurel’s Selima; Winner Likely To Go On To Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

The Elkstone Group’s Maryland homebred Lifelovenlaughter steps up to stakes company out of a three-quarter-length maiden special weight triumph Sept. 9 at Pimlico Race Course going the Selima distance. Trained by Michael Trombetta, she closed to be third in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight Aug. 16 at Colonial Downs.

After watching horses such as Sharing and Consumer Spending use the race as a path to the Breeders' Cup and become graded-stakes winners, trainer Jonathan Thomas is hoping the same will prove true for either or both of Dapper and Born Delight in Saturday's $150,000 Selima at Laurel Park.

The 93rd running of the Selima for 2-year-old fillies and 96th renewal of the $150,000 Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds, both scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the grass, co-headline a 10-race program featuring five stakes worth $575,000 on opening weekend of the calendar year-ending fall meet.

Also on the card are the $100,000 Japan Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up going 1 ½ miles and a pair of dirt stakes, the $100,000 Twixt for fillies and mares 3 and older at about 1 1/16 miles and $75,000 Challedon for 3-year-olds and up which have not won an open sweepstakes sprinting seven furlongs.

First race post time is 12:40 p.m.

Sharing used a popular victory in the 2019 Selima as a springboard to a 13-1 upset of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) that fall. Two years later Consumer Spending won the Selima prior to a sixth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, where she was beaten less than two lengths, before going on to win two stakes this year including the Wonder Again (G2).

“There's no doubt that this race is a good stepping stone,” said Thomas, who trains both Delight and Born Dapper for Augustin Stable. “If you happen to be competitive in this race, the timing to the Breeders' Cup is very, very good. And when it's good, Laurel's turf course is as good as anywhere.”

Delight, by Mendelssohn, has raced three times having run third in each of her first two tries starting with a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight April 29 at Keeneland. She was given plenty of time before being stretched out to 1 1/16 miles for her Aug. 7 return at Saratoga, and was freshened again exiting a 2 ¼-length triumph Aug. 27 at Delaware Park.

“She's shown us that she's got some above average ability,” Thomas said. “I really like the timing from that maiden race to the Selima. We kind of went into that maiden with the thought process that if she were able to run well that it would set her up really well for a race like the Selima. Fortunately, she took care of business and she seems to have come out of it well.”

Delight found herself trailing all but one horse in the early stages of her debut before making a late run behind Love Reigns, who would go on to be fourth in the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot and win the Aug. 21 Bolton Landing at Saratoga. Unhurried but closer to the front in her second start, Delight pressed the pace last out until taking over at the top of the stretch and drawing away, sent away in both races as a favorite.

“When we ran her at Keeneland we ran her knowing that it was going to be too short for her. But, she was doing well and we thought we might as well go ahead and get her started. We were happy with her that day. She ran into a superstar,” Thomas said. “Then we thought she made a really good account of herself at Saratoga off a big break. We had a really wide trip all the way around there and we thought it was a really good effort.”

Thomas also entered Born Dapper, a homebred daughter of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Union Rags that also exits a maiden special weight victory, hers coming by one length going a mile Aug. 13 at Monmouth Park. She was second in debut May 28 on the all-weather surface at Woodbine prior to running third over its turf course July 2, and was also involved in a 1 1/16-mile race July 24 at Saratoga that was ultimately declared a no contest following a tractor malfunction.

“She's just been a real solid filly,” Thomas said. “She's shown in her three starts and she's bred and has the look of a filly that will appreciate the stretch out. They both have been kind of preparing for this race together and, honestly, Born Dapper has been training every bit as good as Delight.

“She's been dead honest about everything,” he added. “She's a little slower on numbers than Delight but as far as how she's doing, and that's as important with these 2-year-olds as anything, she really seems to be thriving right now.”

Trainer Chad Brown will be chasing a third straight Selima win with Klaravich Stables, Inc.'s Private Credit, an Into Mischief filly that ran third in her Aug. 4 unveiling at Saratoga and came back with a front-running 4 ¼-length score going a mile Sept. 2 at Monmouth Park. Brown won the Selima with Consumer Spending and in 2020 with Fluffy Socks, who went on to win a pair of graded-stakes and place in two Grade 1 races in 2021.

Also supplemented into the Selima field was Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds' What an Honor, a homebred daughter of Honor Code trained by Mike Maker, who is keeping a string of 15 horses at Laurel this fall. What an Honor ran second in a pair of maiden special weights this summer at Ellis Park and most recently graduated by two lengths as the narrow favorite in a field of 12 Sept. 3 at Kentucky Downs, where Maker is the all-time leading trainer.

The Elkstone Group's Maryland homebred Lifelovenlaughter steps up to stakes company out of a three-quarter-length maiden special weight triumph Sept. 9 at Pimlico Race Course going the Selima distance. Trained by Michael Trombetta, she closed to be third in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight Aug. 16 at Colonial Downs.

“She surprised us a little bit about how well she ran last time. I think she even surprised Mike. He tells me she continues to train well and move forward,” Elkstone's Stuart Grant said. “We knew when he ran her the first time that short was not her thing and that she didn't have that kind of speed. But if you noticed that very first race, she closed about 10 lengths down the stretch, so we sort of smiled and said that wasn't bad.

“We were looking to stretch her out and when she went long on the turf, she flew. We're hoping to see her continue to step forward,” he added. “It was sort of a nice surprise. She was unproven going long … but we were really happy with what we saw. I guess we'll learn a little more each race.”

Most experienced in the Selima field is Gerald Brooks and Carl Hess Jr.'s Anotherdaygoneby, entered to make her eighth career start. The daughter of V.E. Day graduated in her sixth try, a 1 ¾-length maiden claiming victory sprinting 6 ½ furlongs on the main track at Timonium, and came back to be third in a six-furlong optional claiming allowance Sept. 15 over the all-weather surface at Presque Isle Downs.

Completing the field are Sept. 7 Jamestown runner-up Bee Mountain; Cha Cha Tap and Lady Azteca, both coming off maiden claiming victories going one mile on the turf at Colonial Downs; Laurel-based Majesty's Freedom, yet to run on grass after winning a five-furlong maiden special weight sprint July 8 at Laurel and running third in a six-furlong optional claiming allowance Sept. 2 at Delaware Park; and The Classy One, winner of a six-furlong maiden special weight against fellow New Jersey-breds on dirt Sept. 11 at Monmouth Park.

First run in 1926, the Selima is named for the great English race mare who was imported to the U.S. in the 1750s by Benjamin Tasker Jr., manager of the famed Belair Farm in Prince George's County. The daughter of the Godolphin Arabian, considered 'Queen of the Turf,' also gained fame as a broodmare.

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