Eight will leave gate in Laurel Futurity 2-year-olds will vie for a $100,000 purse


A field of eight, including supplemental entry Von Groovey, will go postward in tomorrow's $100,000 Laurel Futurity for 2-year-old colts.

Once a major test for runners considered to have Triple Crown potential, the Futurity lost some of its luster with the introduction of the Breeder's Cup Juvenile a decade ago.

The Futurity has been downgraded from Grade I to Grade III status, has a reduced purse and is now run at 7 1/2 furlongs instead of at 1 1/16 miles.

Buddy Delp-trained Western Echo won last year and Delp is back with Mrs. James A. Bayard's Mudra, winner of the $30,000 Bobby Hale Stakes at Timonium on Aug. 26.

Other local contenders are the rallying Bug River, trained by Dick Small, and Carlos Garcia-trained Liberty Road, who captured his only start at Pimlico on Sept. 9 by 4 1/2 lengths.

The favorite at post time may be New Jersey invader Appealing Skier, unbeaten for Ben Perkins in two races.

At Laurel today, Try a Gator Girl will try to keep her undefeated streak going in the $100,000 Selima Stakes.

All week, her trainer, Bill Donovan, has been debating whether to run the 2-year-old filly. But Donovan went ahead and entered her and the horse likely will be the favorite. She is set to oppose stakes-winning Turkappeal, whose added-money experience so far has come on the turf.

Jesus Bracho will ride Try a Gator Girl.

At Laurel yesterday, Preakness runner-up Oliver's Twist circled the field and defeated Wise Dusty by a head in a $24,000 seven-furlong race. It was the horse's first race since the June 17 Ohio Derby and served as a prep for next Saturday's Maryland Million Classic.

NOTE: Rosecroft Raceway will have its only live Sunday card of the year this weekend, with first post set for 7:35 p.m.

A group of German amateur drivers will face a squad of U.S. amateur all-stars that includes Mal Burroughs, winner of last year's Hambletonian Oaks with Gleam.

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