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Laurel Park: Bold Affair repeats in Conniver Stakes

Filly improves to 11-for-18; track celebrates trainer Leatherbury's 80th birthday

From Sun staff reports

2:48 AM EDT, March 24, 2013

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Bold Affair broke for the front and raced comfortably on the lead the remainder of the way in defense of her title in the $100,000 Conniver Stakes on Saturday afternoon at Laurel Park.

Bold Affair carried Abel Castellano to a two-length victory, beating four other Maryland-bred fillies and mares. She completed the seven-furlong distance in 1minute, 25.14 seconds.

It was the second stakes win in as many starts this year for the Howard Wolfendale trainee. Howard WolfendaleShe opened her 5-year-old campaign with a victory in the What A Summer Stakes on Jan. 12.

"I started to hustle her a little bit and she started going so I let her do her own thing," Castellano said.

The fans in Central Maryland and around the country backed the daughter of Two Punch down to odds of 1-9 (she was an overwhelming favorite in the show pool) and her win payoff was $2.20. More Than A Cruise rallied to finish second while Access to Charlie finished third.

"She did this very easy," said Castellano, who has been aboard Bold Affair for 11 straight starts. "She shows up every time and is very consistent."

Owners Charles Reed and Mike Zanella indicated that the daughter of Two Punch will be pointed toward the Primonetta Stakes and Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, races she won a year ago.

Bold Affair improves to 11-for-18 lifetime with eight stakes scores with earnings of $659,540.

Birthday party at the track

The Maryland Jockey Club celebrated the birthday of legendary trainer King Leatherbury, who turns 80 on Tuesday, with a presentation in the winners' circle after the third race. All fans attending Laurel on Saturday received a complimentary button and free birthday cupcakes.

"It is a little embarrassing, but I appreciate the tribute," Leatherbury said.

Leatherbury has 52 training titles at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course on his resume, winning 24 of 28 meets at Laurel from 1981 to 1996 and winning or sharing 26 of 35 meets at Pimlico from 1974 to 1997. He had four consecutive 300-win campaigns in the mid-1970s and was the nation's leading conditioner in 1977 and 1978.

"I got started because my father had horses, a breeder and owner, and I just enjoyed betting on them, really, so I decided to get in the game," said Leatherbury, who saddled his first winner in 1959 at Sunshine Park. "I have never really considered this work. I enjoy it, which has probably made the difference."


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