The Northern Wolf Stakes kicks off a pair of $50,000 events at Laurel Race Course this weekend. A half-dozen familiar faces will line up for the 6-furlong affair headed by Wire Me Collect, Arthur Appleton's runner that fell a neck short of victory in the recent Bowie Stakes. With the exception of an embarrassing appearance at Belmont Park last autumn, Wire Me Collect has held his own with the locals while remaining absent from the winner's circle since the Hoover Stakes here last January. Jolly Punch, winner of his past two under optional claiming conditions, is expected to provide Wire Me Collect his main opposition. The only other last-time winner in the field is Tammysue's Buck, which captured a pair of $20,000 claiming events. It's Only Money, Wise Dusty and Tam's Amanda complete the lineup.
Fillies and mares are featured in the Francis Scott Key Stakes, a six-furlong affair that has attracted eight runners, including two stable couplings. Halo's Security, winner of the Stefanita Stakes before a runner-up finish in the Stallion Auction Stakes, appears the post-time favorite. The daughter of Hay Halo will be handled again by regular rider Nik Goodwin. She is joined in the betting by her stablemate, Palette Knife, and Maryland's leading rider, Edgar Prado. Passeggiata, a Ferris Allen III-trained runner from the Burning Daylight Farms, has won back-to-back races on the main track since giving up on the turf course. The Argentine-bred mare is the only last-time winner in the field. Incredible Revenge, Two Punch Lil, Barlee Miss and Augustin Stable's entry of Clandestine Caller and Got A Crush complete the field.
Pub Date: 1/02/99