Commonwealth Day Features Eight Turf Stakes Races at Laurel Park
Saturday is Commonwealth Day at Laurel Park. As in the Commonwealth of Virginia Day. With an 11-race card focused on Virginia-breds, including 8 on the turf, this day of racing will put a smile a furlong wide on many fans faces.
Since Virginia’s only Thoroughbred track Colonial Downs just off of I-64 between Richmond and Williamsburg shutdown 2 years ago, the Maryland Jockey Club has been hosting racing days a couple times a year featuring Virginia-bred and sired horses.
The $200,000 Commonwealth Derby and $200,000 Commonwealth Turf Cup highlight the big day of racing at Laurel, but the five Virginia-bred/sired stakes races make it a special day of racing at Laurel.
Race 3 – Punch Line Stakes. 5 ½ furlongs for state-bred 3-year olds and up. Purse $60,000
Race 4 – Brookmeade Stakes. 1 1/16 miles state-bred fillies and mares 3-yr old and up. Purse $60,000
Race 5 – Commonwealth Oaks (G3). 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-old fillies. Purse $150,000
Race 6 – Commonwealth Turf Cup (G2). 1 mile for 3-year-olds and up. Purse $200,000
Race 7 – Commonwealth Derby (G2). 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds. Purse $200,000
Race 8 – Jamestown Stakes. 5 ½ furlongs for state-bred 2-year-olds. Purse $60,000
Race 9 – Oakley Stakes. 5 ½ furlongs for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up. Purse $60,000
Race 10 – Bert Allen Stakes. 1 1/16 for miles state-bred 3-year-olds and up. Purse $60,000
Twelve signed on for Saturday’s $200,000 Grade II Commonwealth Turf Cup going a mile on the lawn. French-bred Blacktype (4-1) has won two straight, including the Grade III Oceanport at Monmouth. He and Grade I winner Force the Pass (3-1) look sharpest in a rather inconsistent bunch but the latter drew the outside gate for this with a good deal of speed to his inside.
The $200,000 Grade II Commonwealth Derby attracted a quality field of 10 runners to tackle 9 furlongs. Isotherm (7-2) is a graded stakes winner who will break from the far outside. Another graded stakes winner American Patriot (5-2) is the Todd Pletcher-trained favorite. Several others have just missed at that level. Revved Up (5-1) looks to be on the upswing.
Post time for Commonwealth Day racing at Laurel Park is 1:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 24.