Updated on 09/13/2014 7:10PM

Rose Brier makes Bert Allen third straight win

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Embarr won the Brookmeade Stakes for third time in four years Saturday at Laurel Park.

Rose Brier scored his third straight victory by taking the $60,000 Bert Allen Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday. The Allen, a 1 1/16-mile turf race, was one of six stakes for Virginia-bred or -sired runners on the card.

Rose Brier bobbled while appearing to clip the heels of Dannhauser soon after the start of the Allen but moved up between horses into a crowded second flight of horses stalking the slow early pace of front-running Gumper. After a half-mile in 49.14 seconds, jockey Trevor McCarthy sent Rose Brier after Gumper and the pair opened up daylight on the rest of the field.

Rose Brier took command entering the stretch and pulled away for an easy-looking 3 1/4-length score. Hard Enough, who raced in tight quarters along the inside in the second flight early, finished willingly for second. Dannhauser came up along the inside in the stretch for third, a nose behind Hard Enough.

Rose Brier, trained by Jane Cibelli, is 5 for 7 this year and has now won 8 of 19 career starts. He paid $5.20 and was timed in 1:42.97.

McCarthy has been aboard for Rose Brier’s last three starts, all wins. The Allen was McCarthy’s second stakes win of the day.

Jamestown, 2nd division: Moon River wins debut

Trainer Jonathan Sheppard is known for developing horses, not winning with 2-year-old first-timer starters, but that is exactly what he did in the second division of the $60,000 Jamestown Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs on turf.

Coming into the Jamestown, Sheppard had sent out three 2-year-old first-time winners from 34 starters in the last five years. His most recent was Remember Then at Keeneland in October 2012. But Sheppard had Moon River, a son of Bluegrass Cat, ready and he scored with authority under Victor Carrasco, who was winning his second stakes of the day.

Moon River, never far back, relaxed nicely for Carrasco early. When front-running Tiz What’s She Is lugged out nearing the stretch, Carrasco sent Moon River to the lead along the rail and they drew off to score by 2 1/4 lengths.

Mr. Magician, trained by Francis Abbott III, finished nicely from well out in the course after racing outside the winner early to be second. Both Moon River and Mr. Magician galloped out nicely after the finish and should be followed in their next starts. Willisville finished third, 4 3/4 lengths behind Mr. Magician.

Moon River, owned and bred by William Backer, paid $8.20 and was timed over firm turf in 1:03.45.

Punch Line: Two Notch Road finished best

Two Notch Road scored his first win since 2010 in the $60,000 Punch Line Stakes.

Two Notch Road had not won since taking a second-level allowance at Monmouth Park in June 2010. He went to the sidelines in October of that year and didn’t race again until May 2013. He had gone winless in the first seven starts of his comeback but had raced competitively in the Red Bank and McSorley Stakes at Monmouth this summer.

Now 7, Two Notch Road has 4 of 18 starts and more than $290,000. The Punch Line was the first win this year for Glenn Thompson, the trainer of Two Notch Road. He had sent out 12 previous starters.

Two Notch Road was unhurried early by jockey Julian Pimentel. He was taken well out into the course for the stretch run and finished strongly to score by two lengths. Runner-up Boltin’ Out, who had won the Punch Line last year, rallied inside the winner in midstretch but could not keep pace late. He finished a length in front of third-place finisher Joe Tess, who had stalked the early pace and taken a short lead in upper stretch.

Joe Tess paid $9.80 and was timed in 1:01.91 over firm turf.

Embarr takes Brookmeade for third time

Embarr, a 6-year-old daughter of Royal Academy trained by Susan Cooney won the $60,000 Brookmeade Stakes for fillies and mares for a third time. She also won the 1 1/16-mile turf race in 2011 and 2012.

The six statebred stakes run Saturday at Laurel normally would have been run at Colonial Downs, but that track did not hold a race meet this year.
Embarr, ridden by Forest Boyce, advanced toward the leaders on the far turn, then was up to defeat Misty in Malibu by a neck after a long stretch drive.

Embarr paid $7.60 to win as the second choice in the seven-horse field and was timed in 1:42.38 over a firm course. Lawn Party, the 2-1 favorite, finished third, four lengths behind Misty in Malibu.

Cooney said Embarr may race at Belmont Park or Churchill Downs next and that she would be retired at the end of this season.

Jamestown, division 1: Hooligan wins as heavy favorite

Hooligan won the first division of the $60,000 Jamestown Stakes for 2-year-olds, but it wasn’t as easy as you’d expect from a 3-10 shot.

Unhurried by Trevor McCarthy early in the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for Virginia-bred or -sired runners, Hooligan had to work to make the lead from between horses in the upper stretch and held Bay Finn safe by a length.

Hooligan, trained by Wesley Ward, was making her second career start. She had shown speed but tired in a Saratoga turf sprint in her debut.
Hooligan paid $2.60 to win and was timed in 1:03.81 over firm turf.

Oakley: Heaven Knows What saves some for the finish

Jockey Victor Carrasco rationed the speed of Heaven Knows What, and the result was a fairly easy win in the $60,000 Oakley Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for Virginia-bred or -sired fillies and mares.

Heaven Knows What is very fast, but Carrasco was content to prompt the early pace outside Love This Kitty. Heaven Knows What took over in the stretch and won by two lengths. She finished second in the Oakley a year ago after opening up a sizable lead and being caught.

Oakley paid $5.60 and was timed in 1:02.76. Lion Down by Me finished second, a half-length in front of Wardelle. It was another half-length back to Harbingerofthings in fourth.