On this week’s recap, I break down a big day at Laurel Park for the Maryland Million Day that featured some thrilling performances, none more so than Maryland-bred Hello Beautiful who is trained by Brittany Russell and who put on a show in the Maryland Million Distaff. Much as I discussed last week with the great Oklahoma sprint horse Welder, Hello Beautiful is a local horse that has won 90% of her races at Laurel Park and is becoming a Maryland icon. She easily dispatched the rest of the field on Saturday and is working toward redeeming her worst performance at the Grade III Barbara Fritchie Stakes last February. Hello Beautiful is a great example of the wonderful local horses that can thrill the fans at the regional tracks and who can give people a sense of pride when they go up against bigger competition when they come to town.
The weekend also saw more developments in the Breeders’ Cup field with trainer John Gosden announcing that Turf favorite Mishriff will not make the trip to Del Mar and will instead stay in Europe. The news brought with it some hand-wringing from horse racing fans on social media who believe the track (Del Mar) is to blame for the high percentage of Europeans choosing not to run this year. However, fellow UK trainer Charles Appleby announced that he is planning to bring over six horses from his stable for the big races including juvenile turf favorite Albahr. Personally, I like trainers who take their horses all over. Not every track will set up perfectly for every horse, but what endears horses to the people are those that do show up everywhere and try. You can’t be a horse of the people if you refuse to go to where the people are located.
Finally, we also saw some nice performances from a few non-Breeders’ Cup horses this weekend as Public Sector (GB) trained by Chad Brown won the Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont and Caramel Swirl trained by Bill Mott won the Ravens Run Stakes at Keeneland. There is still good racing taking place in the weeks leading up to the Breeders’ Cup and it’s a reminder that while the elite might be headed to Southern California, there are still some excellent horses running big races all throughout the country.