Mixed Appeal won't get a second shot at winning Laurel's richest handicap for fillies and mares.
Last year, the Maryland-based runner unexpectedly turned in the finest performance of her career and pulled down first prize of $120,000 in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap for owner Israel Cohen.
But the 7-year-old mare, who was expected to defend her Fritchie title on Saturday, is not up to par and won't appear in the lineup, said Gene Leach, assistant to the horse's trainer, Dean Gaudet.
The defection of Mixed Appeal means that the Nickel Stable's Smart 'N Noble will be the local favorite to try to upset out-of-town invaders Lottsa Talc and Triumph At Dawn.
Lottsa Talc, shipping in from Aqueduct, will carry high weight of 119 pounds, two more than Smart 'N Noble and Triumph At Dawn, who arrived at Laurel yesterday from Gulfstream Park.
However, another California runner, Powis Castle, owned by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. will head to Laurel and is expected to run Monday in the $200,000 General George Stakes.
NOTES: Laurel jockey Albert Delgado replaces champion Mike Smith as the rider on Maryland-bred Oliver's Twist in Saturday's $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Smith took off the horse to ride West Coast invader, Thunder Gulch, for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. . . . Marylander Billy Boniface will start two horses in the Fountain of Youth. In addition to Oliver's Twist, Boniface will run Ops Smile. . . .Former Maryland governor William Donald Schaefer has joined the board of directors of the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course and the Bowie Training Center. Other board members include track owners Joe De Francis, his sister, Karin De Francis and Martin Jacobs as well as retired judge Edgar P. Silver and Florida real estate developer Alec Courtelis.