26th of December to Remember: Laurel Loaded With Nominations

December 26 promises to be one of the most important days in the history of 1/ST Racing. It’s opening day of the Classic Meet at Santa Anita, opening day of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park and host date of the Christmastide Day stakes card at Laurel Park. All month, 1/ST BET will prepare you for a 26th of December to Remember with special content.
Laurel Park’s 6 stakes races on Dec. 26 recently closed nominations and the half-dozen races worth $100,000 have interesting potential casts. Let’s take a look.

Sprinters match up in the Dave’s Friend, which lured 38 nominees – with the potential to be the best race on the card. Among the loaded noms are Bender Memorial winner Alwaysinahurry, DeFrancis Dash winner Beren, 14-time 2022 winner Beverly Park, Grade 2 Kelso winner Double Crown, millionaire earner Drafted, Vosburgh runner-up Eastern Bay, Fall Highweight winner Greeley and Ben, Grade 3 Maryland Sprint winner Jaxon Traveler, Maryland Million Classic winner Monday Morning QB, Grade 3 Gotham winner Morello and several more local stakes winners.

A total of 31 two-year-olds were nominated to the 7-furlong Heft Stakes, including Maryland Juvenile winner Post Time, Maryland Million Nursery winner Johnnyz From Albany and the unbeaten James F. Lewis winner Recruiter. Nashua Stakes runner-up Full Moon Madness and Tremont runner-up Putthepastbehind also are on the list.

The two-year-old fillies in the 7-furlong Gin Talking Stakes include 18 nominees. Parx’s Future Stars Filly winner Girl Trouble leads the way, along with Maryland Juvenile Fillies heroine Malibu Moonshine. Give Me Kisses and Stonewall Star are among possible New York invaders for Todd Pletcher and Horacio DePaz.

Twenty-six fillies and mares are nominated to the Willa On The Move at 6-1/2 furlongs. Among those are Grade 3 Fantasy runner-up Beguine, Garland of Roses winner Betsy Blue, last year’s Gin Talking winner Buy the Best, Maryland Million Distaff winner Fille d’Esprit, Claiming Crown Tiara winner Out of Sorts, Safely Kept winner Swayin To And Fro and Grade 3 Prioress third-place finisher Union Lake.

The Robert Manfuso Stakes for older dirt routers drew 34 nominations. Among those are Japan Turf Cup and Richard W. Small Stakes winner Armando R, defending champion and $1 million earner Cordmaker, Grade 2 Kelso winner Double Crown, Discovery victory Eloquist, John B. Campbell winner Galerio, Maryland Million Classic winners Monday Morning QB and Ournationonparade, Grade 2 Charles Town Classic runner-up Muad’dib, Grade 3 Greenwood Cup winner Ridin With Biden and Bald Eagle Derby winner Vance Scholars.

The 1-1/8 miles Carousel Stakes for the distaff route set had 23 names pass the nominations. Among those are Grade 2 Delaware Handicap 2-3 finishers Battle Bling and Tonal Vision; Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes 1-2-3 finishers Hyrbid Eclipse, Berate and Champagne Toast; Miss Disco winner Devine Huntress, Grade 3 Iowa Oaks runner-up Falconet and Claiming Crown Tiara winner Out of Sorts.

Tomorrow, we’ll look ahead the nominations for Santa Anita’s Dec. 26 stakes.


The 26th of December to Remember Stakes Lineup

Gulfstream Park | Championship Meet | Opening Day
$100K Tropical Park Derby
$100K Tropical Park Oaks

Santa Anita | Classic Meet | Opening Day
$300K G1 Malibu
$300K G1 American Oaks
$300K G1 La Brea
$200K G2 Mathis Mile
$200K G2 San Antonio
$200K G2 San Gabriel

Laurel Park | Christmastide Day Stakes
$100K Carousel
$100K Dave’s Friend
$100K Gin Talking
$100K Heft
$100K Robert Manfuso
$100K Willa On the Move

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