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Digest (March 22): 86-year-old trainer King Leatherbury active at Laurel Park

Hall of Fame horseman King Leatherbury has welcomed back a small string of horses to his barn at Laurel Park in preparation for his 60th season as a Thoroughbred trainer. Leatherbury, who turns 86 on Tuesday, has won the fifth-most races of all-time with 6,501 since his first victory at the former Sunshine Park, now known as Tampa Bay Downs, in 1959. The nation's leader in wins in 1976 and 1977, Leatherbury went 9-for-80 in 2018, the first time in his career he failed to reach double digits. By the end of last year, Leatherbury's stable had dwindled to two horses. His most recent starter was 77-1 long shot Auld Lang Syne in a maiden claimer Dec. 26 at Laurel. "I took the winter off, only because the horses all went back to the farm being turf horses," Leatherbury said. "There was no sense keeping them in training all winter, so we turned them out and brought them back in February. We'll start getting some turf races, I think, in April." Leatherbury, a Shady Side resident, has six horses at his familiar Barn 1 adjacent to Laurel's main track, including 4-year-old Any Given Saturday filly Happy Lantern and 5-year-old Jazil gelding Paratycachaca. Both horses worked a half-mile March 16 at Laurel, in 50.00 and 49.60 seconds, respectively. Happy Lantern, a Pennsylvania-bred owned and co-bred by Dr. Norman G. Lewis, gave Leatherbury his 6,500th win Sept. 22 at Laurel. His most recent victory came with his own Storm Net in a Nov. 1, 2018 maiden event. "I've got some horses in from the farm that were turf horses that we turned out for the winter. They're back in training, so right now I've got six horses in training. So, I'll just do what I can with what I've got." Leatherbury won at least 200 races for 11 consecutive years from 1974 to 1984, topping 300 from 1975 to 1978, as part of Maryland's 'Big Four' with Dick Dutrow, John Tammaro and fellow Hall of Famer Grover 'Bud' Delp, each of whom has passed on.

Friday's races: Winter meet-leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez continued his recent hot streak by sending out three winners Friday at Laurel Park, pushing his personal win streak to seven consecutive races. Coming on the heels of a four-win day during the last live program March 17, Gonzalez scored with each of this first three starters Friday, sweeping the early daily double with Magic Stable's Grand Oasis ($4) in Race 1 and Joseph Besecker's Yesterdaysplan ($7.40) in Race 2. Gonzalez also took Race 4 with Ioannis Korologos, Nick Trakadas and Rosemary Trakadas' Great French Kiss ($2.60). Gonzalez has 39 wins at the winter meet, which runs through March 31. Laurel's 19-day spring meet runs April 5 to May 5.

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Colleges

Johns Hopkins hostingyouth lacrosse day

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For the 10th consecutive year, Johns Hopkins and Dick's Sporting Goods will sponsor Youth Lacrosse Day when the Blue Jays host Virginia today at 6 p.m. at Homewood Field. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free if they are wearing a lacrosse jersey.

Softball: Michaela Persinger led the Green Terror with a 3-for-3 day, adding two RBIs and two runs scored as McDaniel defeated Macalester, 8-5.

Track and field: Navy received four Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field weekly honors. Clayton Thompson was named Male Track Athlete of the Week, while Sean Brennan claimed Male Field Athlete. Sam Orie was dubbed Female Field Athlete and Chloe Alfieri was named Female Rookie of the Week. ... Johns Hopkins was picked to repeat as Centennial Conference men's outdoors champion.

Soccer

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Blast rout SeaWolves,hold on to division lead

The Blast record their 14th victory of the season with a 7-1 victory over the visiting Orlando SeaWolves in the Major Arena Soccer League. Adriano Dos Santos led the Blast in scoring with four points off one goal and three assists. Jereme Raley collected 25 saves in one of his best performances in a Blast jersey. The Blast remain tied for the Eastern Division lead with Utica City FC. The Blast play their final regular-season home game against the Mississauga Metrostars on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Blast will host Utica City FC in the divisional round of the 2019 Ron Newman Cup Playoffs on April 20, 6 p.m., at SECU Arena. Utica City FC will host the second game on April 22, 6:30 p.m., at the Adirondack Bank Center. The Blast look to close out the season with another Eastern Division title, as they strive for their fourth straight MASL championship. All playoff games will be broadcast live on Eleven Sports and the Eleven Sports NEXT platform. Playoff tickets on sale at baltimoreblast.com/tickets.

Pro lacrosse: D.C. United announced it will host The Premier Lacrosse League at Audi Field for three games on July 6 and July 7. Washington, D.C. is the sixth city announced to host PLL games, following Boston, New York, Chicago, Baltimore and Atlanta. The PLL will play at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field on June 22-23.

From Sun staff and news services

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