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Digest (July 24): Fillies to square off as Laurel schedule expands to Thursdays

The first four-day race week of Laurel Park 's summer meet opens with a bang as multiple stakes-winning fillies Shimmering Aspen and Crabcakes are set to face each other in their seasonal debuts Thursday. Racing will continue on a Thursday through Sunday schedule through the end of the 40-day summer meet Aug. 19. Following the Timonium meet at the Maryland State Fairgrounds Aug. 24-Sept. 3, Laurel's calendar year-ending fall meet opens Sept. 7. Hillwood Stable's Shimmering Aspen and Morgan Ford Farm's Crabcakes will each be coming off lengthy layoffs for Thursday's eighth race, a $50,000 third-level optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and older at 6 furlongs on the main track. They will break side-by-side from Post 3 and 4, respectively, in the six-horse field. Shimmering Aspen, trained by Rodney Jenkins, has not raced since finishing third as the favorite in the seven-furlong Safely Kept Stakes Nov. 11 at Laurel. Overall she went four-for-seven in 2017 including wins in the Alma North and Twixt Stakes in succession over the summer. Bernie Houghton-trained Crabcakes finished second to Shimmering Aspen in the Alma North, then reeled off three consecutive wins at Laurel including the Miss Disco and Maryland Million Distaff – the latter over older horses – before capping her sophomore season finishing third in the Mahoning Valley Distaff Nov. 20. Crabcakes also won the Maryland Juvenile Futurity in 2016 and has a record of 5-2-0 from seven lifetime tries at Laurel. Shimmering Aspen, meanwhile, is 5-0-2 from seven Laurel starts.

Jackpots: Thursday's nine-race program at Lauel Park includes carryovers in both the 20-cent Rainbow 6 ($14,139.25) and $1 Super Hi-5 ($5,683.82) wagers. First race post time is 1:10 p.m.

NHL

37-year-old Orpik agreesto new deal with Capitals

The Capitals are bringing back Brooks Orpik, a leader on Washington's Stanley Cup -winning team. The 37-year-old defenseman signed a $1 million, one-year contract with $500,000 in performance bonuses. General manager Brian MacLellan announced the move Tuesday about a month after trading Orpik to Colorado to clear salary-cap space. Orpik spent the past four seasons in Washington. He was traded to the Avalanche at the NHL draft with backup Philipp Grubauer for a second-round pick as the Capitals made room to re-sign defensemen John Carlson and Michal Kempny and forward Devante Smith-Pelly . Colorado bought out Orpik's final contract year, making him a free agent. MacLellan calls Orpik is a great mentor to young players and says the Capitals are thrilled to bring him back. ... The Capitals will host a three-team rookie tournament to be held at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla., from Sept. 8-11. The NHL Prospects Showcase will also feature top prospects from the Nashville Predators and the Tampa Bay Lightning . Capitals prospects will face the Lightning prospects once and the Predators prospects twice during the round-robin tournament.

Et Cetera

Curley senior Locklearcompetes at Wrigley Field

Tyler Locklear, a 17-year old Abingdon resident and incoming senior at Archbishop Curley, was one of 40 baseball players selected across the country to participate in the annual Under Armour All-America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill. The game was played Friday night, following the Cardinals-Cubs major league game. "They pretty much just drafted two teams, they took 40 of the best kids in the country and split them up randomly," Locklear said. Locklear was a member of the National roster, which was beaten by the American club, 8-2.

— Randy McRoberts, Baltimore Sun Media Group

Golf: Dominick Vennari of Baltimore beat Willy Pumarol of the Dominican Republic by a stroke Tuesday for his second victory on the Minor League Golf Tour. Vennari shot 73-69—142 to Pumarol's 70-73—143. Each player made a double bogey during the final round on the West course at Fountains Country Club. Overall, Vennari had six birdies, four bogeys and a double at the par-4 16th hole, earning $925 from the $1,525 purse. His only previous win was last August at Abacoa Golf Course. Vennari plays Thursday at the Evergreen Club in Palm City. For information and entry, go to www.minorleaguegolf.com.

Major League soccer: D.C. United changed their match against Orlando City on Aug. 12 at Audi Field to an 8 p.m. start. The match will still air live on Fox Sports (FS1) and Fox Sports Go.

College football: Johns Hopkins senior wide receiver Luke McFadden is among 169 college football players nationwide who have been nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

From Sun staff and news services

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