01/26/2015 2:13PM

Frank Whiteley Jr. redraw attacts Majestic Affair

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Majestic Affair wins the Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes on Jan. 2 at Aqueduct.

The Frank Whiteley Jr. and Marshua, $100,000 stakes for 3-year-olds at Laurel Park, have been rescheduled for Thursday. They were supposed to have been run last Saturday, but the card was canceled due to uneven track conditions following a week of freeze and thaw conditions.

Baltimore was forecast to receive a few inches of snow Monday but was expected to be spared from the large accumulations to the north. Temperatures through Thursday, however, are predicted to hang around the freezing mark, and hopefully the track surface will be suitable for racing.

Instead of being run last Saturday, the Whiteley and Marshua were redrawn. The complexion of the seven-furlong Whiteley changed dramatically when trainer Chad Brown entered Majestic Affair, who should rule a strong favorite.

Majestic Affair made his 3-5 odds look fair last time out in the Fred Capossela Stakes at Aqueduct, drawing off to win by 5 3/4 lengths. In his prior start, Majestic Affair finished second to Cinco Charlie in the James Lewis III Stakes at Laurel. Cinco Charlie has won four of his last five starts, including the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds and the Riley Allison Derby at Sunland Park since the Lewis.

While Majestic Affair is strictly the horse to beat, Golden Years doesn’t figure to be a pushover. A winner of three of four starts for trainer Rodney Jenkins, Golden Years was powerful in winning the seven-furlong Marylander Stakes over a sloppy track at Laurel on Dec. 6 by 7 1/4 lengths. He also won the Maryland Million Nursery in October.

Jenkins gave Golden Years several weeks off after the Marylander. He comes into Thursday’s race off a five-furlong work in 1:01 on Jan. 17. The move was the fastest of 37 at the distance that day at Laurel.

“I went a little strong with him at the end of the year,” Jenkins said. “He might be a hair short for this one, but he’ll try real hard. The last work we galloped him out seven-eighths, and he got a little tired, but I think it helped him. He is one of the best-moving horses I have ever had.”

Majestic Affair holds a Beyer Speed Figure edge over Golden Years. He earned a 97 Beyer in the Capossela, 13 points higher than what Golden Years earned in the Marylander.

Other contenders in the Whiteley include the Jerry Robb-trained pair of Governmentshutdown and Notional Debt. Governmentshutdown showed promise in the spring, winning 2 of 4 starts, including the Rollicking Stakes, but has not started since injuring a stifle in the Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs in June.

Robb has the filly to beat in the six-furlong Marshua Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Lake Sebago comes into the Marshua off a pair of Laurel stakes wins. She scored by two lengths in the Gin Talking Stakes on Dec. 6 and by a half-length over the talented E Dubai’s Humor in the Nov. 15 Smart Halo.

The distance of the Marshua is a little short for Lake Sebago, according to Robb.

“Six furlongs is not really what she wants to do,” he said. “After this, the series gets good. It goes from six furlongs to seven furlongs to a mile.”

The seven-furlong Wide Country is Feb. 16, and the one-mile Caesar’s Wish is March 14.

Lindisfarne, trained by Rudy Rodriguez, benefited from the Marshua being redrawn. Originally stuck down on the rail, Lindisfarne will now break from post 7.

Lindisfarne won a first-level optional-claiming race in her East Coast debut Jan. 1. She made her first three starts in Northern California with trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. She has been owned by KMN Racing throughout her career.

Bill More than 1 year ago
So are Robb and Jenkins telling me not to bet their horses? Handicapping is hard enough, and now I'm trying to read between the lines of the 2nd choice and 1rst choice connections.
DRFDunleavy More than 1 year ago
It's just more information to process.
Mark D More than 1 year ago
I have found much more often than not.....when a trainer does not seem to like their horse...they do NOT run well.