09/10/2016 6:08PM

Onus sets course record in winning Lady Baltimore Stakes

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Maryland Jockey Club photo
Onus and jockey Forest Boyce win the $150,000 Lady Baltimore Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths Saturday.

Onus delivered as the 4-5 favorite in the $150,000 Lady Baltimore Stakes on Saturday, rallying from just off the pace to score by 1 1/4 lengths under Forest Boyce and improving to 4 for 4 on the Laurel Park turf. Onus finished the 1 1/16-mile race on a firm Fort Marcy Turf Course in 1:39.87, breaking the course record of 1:40.33 set by Doryphar on Aug. 18, 2007.

The Lady Baltimore was the centerpiece of the Laurel Turf Festival, a card with six stakes totaling $575,000, including five stakes on turf.

Onus ($3.60) settled into third place in the field of seven fillies and mares, as Monster Sleeping led through a quarter-mile in 23.74 seconds and a half-mile in 47.37. Eventual runner-up Robillard took the lead through six furlongs in 1:11.02, but Onus, who had raced three wide down the backstretch, went four wide around the far turn and drew clear near the eighth pole.

“We really just had the perfect trip,” Boyce told track publicity. “There wasn’t a lot of speed, so we sat there right off of it, and she made a nice run at the end. They had her ready, and she’s a brilliant horse. She’ll pretty much do whatever you ask. Today, she was a little keen, but she settled nicely, and it all worked out.”

It was the second stakes win for the 4-year-old daughter of Blame, following her victory last September at Laurel in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Oaks. Onus, a homebred for Stuart Janney III trained by Shug McGaughey, has won five of 12 career starts for $318,406.

In other stakes action on the card:

• Renown proved one length best over Generous Kitten as the favorite in the $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup, racing forwardly throughout and finishing the 1 1/2-mile turf marathon in 2:27.22. Renown ($4.40), ridden by Angel Cruz, tracked the early pace of Eyeplayeveryday in second through a mile in 1:39.63 before taking a 2 1/2-length lead in the stretch and besting six rivals ages 3 and up.

Renown, a 5-year-old British-bred gelding by Champs Elysees, has won five of 10 career starts for $157,391. Trained by Elizabeth Voss for the Merriebelle Stable, he fought for a nose victory in the $50,375 Cape Henlopen at Delaware Park two starts back, earning his first stakes win, before finishing third in the $100,000 John’s Call last month at Saratoga.

• Mosler got his first win in his fifth start of 2016, taking the $100,000 Laurel Turf Dash by 1 1/2 lengths over 40-1 longshot Triple Burner. Mosler ($9), ridden by Edgar Prado, prompted the pace in fourth place through a half-mile in 45.98 seconds, steadied in traffic leaving the turn, but recovered and surged to the front in the No. 4 path, finishing the six-furlong turf race in 1:08.26.

Mosler, a 5-year-old War Front horse trained by Bill Mott for Adele Dilschneider, has won five of 17 career starts for $340,967. He earned his first stakes victory in the $100,000 Elusive Quality at Belmont Park in April 2015 and finished third while defending his title in that race to start his 2016 campaign.

Ben’s Cat, the 10-year-old gelding with $2.7 million in the bank, finished fifth, his fourth consecutive defeat. The favored Sallal finished 10th in the field of 11 horses ages 3 and up.

• In the $75,000 Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds, Caribou Club closed with resolve in the No. 3 path to nip Undulated by a nose and get his first win in his third career start. Caribou Club ($6.60), a homebred for Glen Hill Farm trained by Tom Proctor, had finished second and third in maiden special weight races at Laurel and Saratoga in his prior two starts and added blinkers for the Laurel Futurity.

Ridden by Ashley Castrenze, Caribou Club stalked 4-5 favorite Greatbullsoffire and Undulated in third place through a quarter-mile in 23.01 seconds and a half in 45.63. Undulated took over the lead near the sixteenth pole but just failed to hold off Caribou Club, who finished the 5 1/2-furlong turf race in 1:02.59.

Caribou Club, a City Zip colt, has earned $61,700. He gave Castrenze her first stakes victory in only her second stakes mount.

• Happy Mesa ($76.20), the longest shot in the field of eight 2-year-old fillies for the $75,000 Selima Stakes, remained perfect in two starts, rallying from last to score by 2 1/4 lengths. Third-place finisher Consulting set fast fractions of 21.72 and 44.99 in the 5 1/2-furlong turf race, with Happy Mesa and jockey Sheldon Russell trailing after breaking a step slowly.

Happy Mesa advanced on the turn, swung six wide into the stretch and pulled away under left-handed urging to finish in 1:02.22, with Harlands Thunder finishing second, two lengths ahead of Consulting.

A Sky Mesa filly owned by Jerry Romans, Charlie Spiring, and Zoom and Fish Stable Inc., Happy Mesa won her career debut in a $40,000 maiden claimer on Laurel’s main track last month for trainer Hamilton Smith. She’s earned $63,810.

• Southern Girl made a successful stakes debut for trainer Larry Jones and Fox Hill Farms Inc., taking the $75,000 Shine Again Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths over Boheme de Lavi.

Ridden by Trevor McCarthy, Southern Girl ($9) raced in third place in the field of eight fillies and mares early on, went three wide to take the lead near the three-sixteenths pole and built a 2 1/2-length advantage in the stretch. The final time for seven furlongs on a fast main track was 1:24.11.  

Southern Girl, a 3-year-old Tapit filly, has won three consecutive races and four of five career starts, earning $117,940. She entered the race off a pair of wins by daylight in six-furlong allowances at Laurel and Delaware Park.