12/27/2008 1:00AM

Peace Town handles first route


Heavily favored Peace Town ($3.20) successfully stretched out beyond 6 1/2 furlongs for the first time to win the $50,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship for statebred 2-year-olds on closing day for 2008 at Laurel Park.

Ridden by Julian Pimentel for Trombetta, Peace Town sat in second behind a modest pace of 48.08 seconds for the first half-mile set by Blueberry Start, moved to the front after passing the three-eighths pole, and withstood a bid by In the Juice to prevail by a half-length.

A son of Peace Rules owned by the Vinery Stables and Singer Stables, Peace Town is now 3 for 5 lifetime after completing 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.83.

"The thinking was to get him to relax, which he did pretty good. The rest was just taking him around there," Pimentel said. "I knew I had a lot of horse. I wasn't aware that horse was there for a little bit but when he realized it he just took off.

* Rosie Napravnik, despite riding full-time in the state for only six months, finished 2008 as Maryland's leading rider with 101 victories at Laurel and Pimlico, seven more than runner-up Craig Gibbs.

Napravnik, 20, missed three months with a broken leg and moved her tack to New York earlier this month.

Scott Lake saddled 113 winners at the major Maryland tracks, 59 more than Dale Capuano to win his fourth consecutive title. Lake captured the Laurel winter, Pimlico spring, and Laurel fall training titles.

Robert Cole, whose trainers include Lake, Howard Wolfendale, and John Rigattieri, fininished 2008 as the state's top owner for the third straight year with 39 wins from 118 starts (33 percent).

Apprentice Sheldon Russell won the Laurel fall riding title with 48 winners.