Updated on 01/12/2013 4:48PM

Laurel: Bold Affair cruises in What a Summer

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Bold Affair, ridden by Abel Castellano Jr., collects her sixth stakes win in Maryland during the past two seasons in the What a Summer.

Multiple stakes winner Bold Affair was more than a little reluctant to go into the starting gate for Saturday’s $105,000 What a Summer Stakes at Laurel Park. Thereafter, however, it was smooth sailing.

Bold Affair, racing three wide under jockey Abel Castellano Jr., overtook pacesetter Defy Gravity and second choice Dance to Bristol with about three furlongs remaining and rolled to an easy 4 1/2-length victory in the six-furlong race for fillies and mares.

Castellano said that acting up at the gate is something he has encoutered before with Bold Affair.

“She has a little attitude sometimes," Castellano said. "It happened to me before at Pimlico but as soon as we started rolling I knew we would be okay, She was feeling comfortable and got to the lead whenever she wanted. Once she switched leads, she took off.”

Bold Affair ($3.40), who has won six stakes in Maryland over the past two seasons, ran the distance in 1:10.61. She is being pointed to the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap on Feb. 16.

Dance to Bristol was easily second best in a field of eight. The New York shipper Enchante outfought 42-1 longshot Silver Heart by a head for third.

The 5-year-old Bold Affair, rained by Howard Wolfendale for owners Chuck Reed and Mike Zanetta was coming off a third-place performance as the 4-5 favorite in last month’s Thirty Eight Go Go. She is now 10 for 17 lifetime with earnings of $599,540.

Castellano, Maryland’s leading rider in 2012, made national and local news Friday by helping capture Bullet Catcher, a horse who got loose from the Laurel stable area and ended up more than a mile and a half away on U.S. Route 1. During the chase, Castellano shot video of the adventure on his cell phone.

“Yesterday was crazy,” Castellano said. “I think I got my 15 minutes of fame. I got a lot of phone calls from the press and did a bunch of interviews. My family enjoyed all the attention.”