Digest (Jan. 10): Late Night Pow Wow leads talented Laurel Park field

Breeze Easy LLC's Grade 3 winner Late Night Pow Wow will face five rivals in her bid for a fifth straight stakes victory and eighth consecutive win overall in Saturday's $100,000 What a Summer at Laurel Park . The 33rd running of the 6-furlong What a Summer for fillies and mares 4 and up leads off the 2019 stakes schedule in Maryland as the first of four $100,000 stakes on a nine-race program that begins at 12:30 p.m. It is joined by the Fire Plug for 4-year-olds and up, also at 6 furlongs, and the Native Dancer for 4-year-olds and up and Nellie Morse for females 4 and older, both at about 11/16 miles. A total of 65 stakes, 13 graded, worth $9.2 million in purses have been scheduled in Maryland into mid-October. Late Night Pow Wow ventured outside her home state for the first time in her career last out, routing a field that included fellow West Virginia-bred multiple stakes winner Moonlit Song and Grade 2 heroine Ms Locust Point by 5 lengths in the 6-furlong Willa On the Move Nov. 24 at Laurel. It was also the first race since trainer Javier Contreras sold his ownership share in Late Night Pow Wow to Mike Hall and Sam Ross of Breeze Easy, who Contreras said have committed to running the Fiber Sonde daughter through her 4-year-old season. Regular rider Fredy Peltroche will be back aboard from Post 2 at topweight of 124 pounds. Bred, owned and trained by Tim Grams, Moonlit Song returns for another try at Late Night Pow Wow after finishing third, a neck behind Ms Locust Point, in the Willa On the Move. The 6-year-old daughter of champion Uncle Mo is a 13-time winner from 23 career starts, including five stakes wins. Regular rider Oscar Flores gets the mount from Post 5 at 120 pounds. ... Three Diamonds Farm's Bonus Points, whose three career wins at Laurel include the 2017 Maryland Million Classic, makes a quick turnaround to race over his favorite track in the $100,000 Native Dancer. A 5-year-old son of Majestic Warrior trained by Todd Pletcher, Bonus Points also owns four seconds in seven lifetime tries over Laurel's main track. He will break from Post 5 in a field of eight under Jorge Vargas Jr., Maryland's leading rider in 2018. All horses will carry 120 pounds.

Thursday's feature: No Guts No Glory Farm's Anna's Bandit, a three-time stakes winner in 2018, kicked off her 5-year-old season Thursday with a front-running five-length victory in the featured seventh race at Laurel Park. With Xavier Perez up for breeder-trainer Jerry Robb, and narrowly favored at 2-1, Anna's Bandit ($6.40) was timed in 1:20.28 for 5½ furlongs over a fast main track in the $47,000 third-level optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 4 and up. Laurel's track record for 5½ furlongs on dirt is 1:20.20, set by 6-year-old Siralfredthegreat Oct. 6, 2018.

Three-Win Afternoon: Trevor McCarthy , who captured Laurel's 2018 calendar year-ending fall meet title in his full-time return to Maryland, had three wins and finished second three times on Thursday's eight-race program. McCarthy opened the card with a victory aboard Big Slick ($4) in Race 1, then followed up by winning Race 3 on Bobcat ($5) and Race 5 on Sir Rockport ($8.60). Bobcat and Sir Rockport are both trained by Jamie Ness.

Et Cetera

Terps' Charles selected forWooden Award watch list

Junior Kaila Charles of the ninth-ranked Maryland women's basketball team (14-1) was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 watch list. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on the players' performances during the first half of the season, the list features 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport's most prestigious honor. Charles is leading the Big Ten's top scoring team with 16.9 points per game, good for fifth in the conference. She is also averaging 6.3 rebounds per game. Charles is shooting 49 percent from the field and over 81 percent from the free-throw line.

Women's college basketball: Kyaja Williams scored 16 points to lead Bowie State (13-1) past St. Augustine, 60-52. ... Five 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes helped lead Johns Hopkins to a 68-40 victory over Muhlenberg.

Men's college basketball: Seniors Michael Gardner and Daniel Vila combined for 41 points and 16 boards to lead Johns Hopkins to a 66-57 win over host Ursinus. ... Vado Morse had 14 points, but host Mount St. Mary's (3-13, 0-3 Northeast Conference ) fell behind early and couldn't recover in a 66-59 loss to Bryant (5-9, 2-1). The Mount trailed 25-18 in the first half before matching the Bulldogs point for point in the second half. The loss was the fourth straight for Mount St. Mary's.

Pro basketball: The Washington Wizards assigned Troy Brown Jr. and two-way players Jordan McRae and Devin Robinson to the Capital City Go-Go, the team's NBA G League affiliate. The trio each played the final two minutes of the Wizards' 123-106 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night in D.C.

From Sun staff and news services

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