11/19/2016 4:41PM

Name Changer looks strong in winning Richard Small

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Name Changer, right, has now won three of his last five starts.

LAUREL, Md. - Name Changer, the second choice behind New York shipper Tommy Macho, proved clearly best in the $100,000 Richard W. Small, one of seven stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday.

Name Changer, an improving 3-year-old son of Uncle Mo owned by the Colts Neck Stables of Richard Santulli and trained by Alan Goldberg, has now won three of his last five starts, with the victories all coming over older rivals.

Name Changer was never far back in the 1 1/8-mile Small. On the far turn, jockey Jevian Toledo sent him after Discreet Lover, who had opened a clear lead. Name Changer passed Discreet Lover in upper stretch, then drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths despite drifting outward in midstretch.

Discreet Lover held second by 1 3/4 lengths over Ami's Holiday.

Name Changer paid $6.40 to win. The early pace of the Small was slow, with the half going in 50.51 and three-quarters in 1:15.01. The final time was 1:51.99.

"We ended up getting in behind the speed and I was able to sit right behind the leaders," Toledo said. "I had plenty of horse late. He just kicked away and kept going."

Tommy Macho, the even-money favorite, went to the front from post 1 in the 11-horse field but could not stay with Discreet Lover, who took the lead nearing the final turn. He tried to come on again entering the stretch, but could not and then was nailed for third in the closing strides by Ami's Holiday and finished fourth.

James F. Lewis III: El Areeb romps again
El Areeb scored his second consecutive front-running blowout win in the $100,00 James F. Lewis III Stakes.

El Areeb, a $340,000 2-year-old purchase in March at the Ocala Breeders' Sales, races for M M G Stables and is trained by Cal Lynch. He scored an 8 3/4-length maiden win at Laurel on Oct. 15 and scored in the Lewis by 5 1/4 lengths.

"He's just gotten better since his last race," Lynch said. "He's gotten stronger."

El Areeb, a son of Exchange Rate, moved up to take the early lead from between horses under jockey Trevor McCarthy and never looked back, widening his lead throughout the stretch run. He paid $6.40 to win as the second choice in the 10-horses field of 2-year-olds and was timed in 1:09.96 following splits of 22.43, 45.48, and 57.38.

Two Charles's came wide into the stretch and finished well to get up for second at 25-1. It was 3 1/2 lengths farther back to High Roller in third.

Smart Halo: Tequilita doubles up
Tequilita rallied to the lead four wide entering the stretch of the $100,000 Smart Halo Stakes to win her second straight race for trainer Michael Matz. The even-money favorite in a field of nine 2-year-old fillies, Tequilita had won a Keeneland maiden race in her prior start.

She drew clear in upper stretch of the Smart Halo, then held off the late runs of Star Super and Candycoated Dame to win by a length.

Tequilita paid $4 and completed six furlongs under jockey Alex Cintron in 1:12.03. A daughter of Union Rags owned and bred by Dorothy Matz, Tequilita is now 2 for 5 in her career.

"She spun her wheels a little bit in the first few jumps," Cintron said. "It actually was the best thing that could happen, as that was our plan all along to let them go early. She likes to run at horses."

Star Super raced in good position behind the early leaders, Toby Girl and Riley's Choice, could not keep pace with the winner in upper stretch, then was closing ground at the wire. She bested Candycoated Dame by a neck for second.

Aiden's Rag Doll stumbled badly at the start.