01/21/2017 3:05PM

High Roller topples heavy favorite in Frank Whiteley Jr. Stakes

Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
High Roller, with Trevor McCarthy aboard, defeats O Dionysus by a half-length in the seven-furlong Frank Whiteley for 3-year-olds.

High Roller held off 2-5 favorite O Dionysus to score a 5-1 upset in the $75,000 Frank Whiteley Jr. Stakes on Saturday at Laurel Park.

O Dionysus had a nightmare trip in the Whiteley yet was only beaten a half-length. He broke last in the eight-horse field of 3-year-olds, and then dragged rider Jevian Toledo to a contending position along the inside in the opening quarter-mile of the seven-furlong race.

Toledo had to restrain O Dionysus while in traffic and didn't have a clear running path until upper stretch. Toledo had no choice but to go to the inside of the winner at that point. O Dionysus rallied willingly to the wire but could not get by late.

High Roller saved ground while setting or prompting the pace under Trevor McCarthy, took the lead in upper stretch, and then refused to give way. High Roller is trained by Dale Capuano, the brother of O Dionysus's trainer, Gary Capuano.

High Roller paid $12.20 as the second betting choice and was timed in 1:23.86 over a fast track.

High Roller, a son of High Cotton, is now 2 for 4 in his career.

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Butch Walker, who loomed boldly in upper stretch after being fanned six wide, finish third, 1 1/4 lengths behind O Dionysus. Eastern Bay, who raced just to the inside of Butch Walker, was fourth, 1 1/4 lengths farther back.

Marshua: Star Super digs in

Trevor McCarthy completed a sweep of the  stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday’s card as Star Super gamely held off Lucky in Malibu to win the Marshua, a six-furlong race for fillies.

Scarlett's Ransom and Unaquoi set a fast pace in the Marshua. Unaquoi came away with the lead on the far turn but could offer little resistance to Star Super, who made the front in upper stretch. It appeared that Lucky in Malibu was going to go by Star Super in the final sixteenth but she dug in with determination to win by a neck.

Star Super, who is trained by Cal Lynch, paid $3 while covering the distance in 1:11.30. The early fractions were 22.25 and 46.33 seconds.

The Marsha was the first stakes win for Star Super, a daughter of Super Saver. She has previously finished second in the Gin Talking and Smart Halo at Laurel and was third in the Sorority at Monmouth Park.

Squan's Kingdom ran a strong race to finish third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Lucky in Malibu. Squan's Kingdom missed the break, commenced a four-wide move on the far turn, and then finished well despite drifting inward during the stretch run. She's a horse to follow in her next start.