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.
Last year’s Dec. 26 stakes lineup at Laurel Park did not disappoint as the calendar flipped to 2022.
In last year’s Carousel Stakes, Miss Leslie (pictured above) drew off to her third straight victory to cap the season. But she was just getting started. The Claudio Gonzalez trainee would go on to win 3 stakes in 2022, including the Serena’s Song at Monmouth and then the Obeah and Grade 2 $500,000 Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park.
Cordmaker won last year’s Robert Manfuso at Laurel on the Christmastide Day card and a few months later would add the track’s biggest winter sprint, the Grade 2 $250,000 General George. Trainer Rodney Jenkins’ star Maryland-bred topped the $1 million mark in lifetime earnings during the current campaign.
Other Laurel winners last Dec. 26 included Shake Em Loose (Heft Stakes), who would go on to win the Private Terms on the Preakness path; Kaylasaurus (Willow On the Move Stakes), whose 2022 included a victory in Laurel’s Primonetta Stakes; and Threes Over Deuces (Dave’s Friend), runner-up in the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint on Pimlico’s Preakness undercard. Only Buy the Best (Gin Talking Stakes) failed to have a serious 2022 impact while going 0-5 on the campaign.
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 Dave’s Friend
$100K Gin Talking
$100K Robert Manfuso
$100K Willa On the Move