Updated on 12/28/2012 12:44PM

Laurel Park: This Ones for Phil, Il Villano aim for better outcome in Dave's Friend Stakes

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Tom Keyser
This Ones for Phil will be among the favorites in Saturday's $100,000 Dave's Friend Stakes at Laurel Park.

This Ones for Phil and Il Villano share an odd distinction. Both sprinters, one based in New York and the other in Pennsylvania, recorded triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures at Laurel Park this season. Neither one of their outstandings efforts, however, was quite good enough to win a stakes.

This Ones for Phil and Il Villano will try to reach the Laurel winner’s circle Saturday following the $100,000 Dave’s Friend Stakes at six furlongs.

The Dave’s Friend shares top billing on a card with the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship.

The 6-year-old This Ones for Phil came to Laurel just three days after winning a $100,000 claiming race over Aqueduct’s inner track in February. He ran lights out to finish second, beaten a half-length, in the Grade 2, seven-furlong General George Handicap. The 101 Beyer he was awarded is his best among the five starts he has made in 2012.

One negative trend This One’s for Phil will try to overcome is trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.’s lack of success shipping to Laurel for non-graded stakes. He is 0 for 6 in 2012 and 1 for 13  in Laurel races at the current meet. Overall, Dutrow is 4 for 22 (18 percent) at Laurel this season, including a win by Yawanna Twist in the General George.

The 3-year-old Il Villano, based at Parx Racing with trainer Susan Crowell, earned a caeer-high 102 Beyer when he missed by a nose in the $350,000 Frank De Francis Memorial Dash two months ago. That effort may have taken something out of Il Villano because he followed up by stumbling at the start and finishing fourth as the 2-1 favorite in the $200,000 Fabulous Strike at Penn National.

In preparation for Saturday’s start, Il Villano worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:01 on Dec. 15.

The seven-horse field also includes Immortal Eyes, who has lost his last two starts despite putting up Beyers of 98 and 99. The 7-year-old Immortal Eyes overcame a poor start in the De Francis to finish a fast-closing third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, then held the lead in deep stretch until he was caught in the final jump by Ben’s Cat in the Fabulous Strike, losing by a head.

◗ Three-time winner Lunar Rock appears formidable against 10 other Maryland-bred 2-year-olds in the 7 1/2-furlong Maryland Juvenile Championship.

Locally based with trainer Dale Capuano, Lunar Rock has won his two most recent races – one at 6 1/2 furlongs and the other at 1 1/16 miles – by a combined margin of 8 1/4 lengths.

The two biggest threats to Lunar Rock figure to be Hanky Doodle, who returns home after a good runner-up effort in the Tri-State Futurity at Charles Town, and Awesome Devine, unbeaten after two starts against lesser company.

Hanky Doodle has worked three times since recording the best Beyer of his four-race career in the seven-furlong Tri-State Futurity last month.

Awesome Devine, purchased for a mere $9,500 at auction last May, easily won his career debut for a $10,000 tag at Delaware Park and came back two months later to score by 1 3/4 lengths in a first-level optional $40,000 claimer going six furlongs at Laurel.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the statistics of trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. and his horse This Ones for Phil. The 101 Beyer Speed Figure that This Ones for Phil received for his second in the General George Handicap is his best in 2012. His career-best Beyer is a 115. Dutrow’s record in non-graded stakes at Laurel this year is 0 for 6, and he is 1 for 13 at the current meet overall. Dutrow is 4 for 22 (18 percent) at Laurel in 2012, including a win by Yawanna Twist in the Grade 2 General George.