11/09/2013 6:40PM

Laurel Park: Res Judicata rebounds to take City of Laurel

Laurel Park
Under Kendrick Carmouche, Res Judicata runs unchallenged to the wire in the $100,000 City of Laurel Stakes on Saturday.

Res Judicata’s on-again, off-again form persisted Saturday at Laurel Park, where he rebounded from a last-start thumping at Charles Town to win the $100,000 City of Laurel Stakes for 3-year-olds by 4 1/4 lengths.

Res Judicata finished off a three-stakes string of upset winners, paying $16 after Slip and Drive won the Japan Racing Association Stakes at 22-1 and Lady Sabelia the Safely Kept Stakes at odds of 7-1. The pick three linking those stakes returned $3,267.40 for a $2 bet.

Res Judicata, ridden to victory Saturday by Kendrick Carmouche for trainer John Servis and owner Someday Farm, won an allowance race in June but flopped in the Jersey Shore Stakes, finishing fifth. Two starts ago he sharply beat older third-level allowance foes before a no-show ninth in the $400,000 Researcher over a sloppy track at Charles Town.

Res Judicata was due for another one of his good performances in the seven-furlong City of Laurel, and delivered, handling the full-size Laurel oval more comfortably than the bullring at Charles Town, Carmouche said. Breaking from the outside stall in a field reduced to 10 by the scratches of Bond Vigilante and Gunderson, Res Judicata pressed Edge of Reality’s moderate pace of 23.59 and 47.09 while appearing to be travelling stronger than the leader around the far turn. Indeed, Res Judicata took complete command of the City of Laurel when asked for his best at the top of the stretch, drawing well clear at the eighth pole and never receiving a challenge.

Souper Knight rallied late on the outside to get second, with City of Weston third. Mild favorite Falling Sky completely missed the break from post 1 and never got involved, finishing ninth.

Res Judicata, a son of Smarty Jones, was timed in 1:23.09 for seven furlongs over a fast track.

Slip and Drive, meanwhile, won the $100,000 Japan Racing Association in the race’s early stages. Breaking on top and going out to a clear lead under Carlos Marquez Jr., Slip and Drive went an opening quarter-mile in a glacial 25.78 seconds in the 1 1/16-mile turf race. He held his lead through splits of 50.70 and 1:14.67 and continued resolutely through the stretch, holding clear runs from second-place Road Hog and third-place Super Chunky to win by a nose.

Five-year-old Slip and Drive, trained by Mac Robertson, won his first stakes race. He paid $46.20 to win and was timed in 1:42.87 on firm turf.

Safely Kept winner Lady of Sabelia, meanwhile, has become a different horse with the addition of blinkers. Racing in the equipment for the first time Oct. 2, she won a maiden race in her fourth start, running away to a 12 3/4-length victory. Jumped all the way into stakes company on Saturday, Lady of Sabelia won again.

Tracking the leaders in third under Horacio Karamanos, Lady of Sabelia took control in midstretch and won the race for 3-year-old fillies by 1 3/4 lengths. Flattering Bea came from last of 11 to snatch second, with 2-1 favorite Crazy About Me third.

Robin Graham trains Lady of Sabelia, a daughter of Majestic Warrior, for owner-breeder Mrs. Frank C. Wright. She paid $16.20 and was timed in 1:23.97 for seven furlongs on dirt.

* Earlier on the card favored Access to Charlie won the $83,500 Geisha Stakes for Maryland-breds by a neck over Monster Sleeping.