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$300,000 Barbara Fritchie to highlight $1.95M winter stakes schedule at Laurel Park

Royale Michele ridden by Geovany Garcia wins the $150,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (Grade 2) for fillies and mares at Laurel Park in Maryland on Saturday, February 14, 2009.
Royale Michele ridden by Geovany Garcia wins the $150,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (Grade 2) for fillies and mares at Laurel Park in Maryland on Saturday, February 14, 2009. (Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club)

Laurel Park will offer a stakes schedule during its winter meet of $1.95 million highlighted by the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie (Grade 2), $250,000 General George Handicap (G3), and "Win & You're In" races for the $1.5 million Preakness (G1) and $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2). The schedule begins Jan. 2 with four $75,000 stakes and runs through April 23 with the $100,000 Henry Clark Stakes. The Maryland Jockey Club has also shaken things up by making the $100,000 Federico Tesio at 11/8 miles a "Win & You're In" for the Preakness on May 21 and the $100,000 Weber City Miss at 11/16 miles a "Win & You're In" for the Black-Eyed Susan on May 20. Both races will be run April 9. The highlight of the winter stakes schedule will be the weekend of Feb. 13-15 with the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie on Feb. 13 for fillies and mares at seven furlongs and the $250,000 General George for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs Feb. 15. The Fritchie will highlight a program on the 13th that includes the $75,000 John B. Campbell at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds and up and the $75,000 Maryland Racing Media for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles. The General George will highlight a program on Presidents Day that includes the $75,000 Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds at a mile and the $75,000 Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs. On March 12, Laurel will feature sophomores and races that could serve as prep races for the Tesio and Weber City Miss. The $75,000 Private Terms for 3-year-olds will be contested at a 1 1/16 miles while the $75,000 Caesar's Wish for 3-year-old fillies will be run at a mile.

Swimming

Phelps and fiancee are expecting a child

Michael Phelps will soon be a dad. The 18-time Olympic gold medal swimmer announced his coming parenthood Wednesday in an Instagram post. "We found out 8 weeks ago we were expecting... Today we're over 12 weeks and it looks like we're having a boy!!!" the post said. In February, Phelps was engaged to Nicole Johnson, a former Miss California. That announcement also came on social media. Phelps' agent, Drew Johnson, confirmed that the couple is expecting a child. Phelps is in the midst of a comeback to swimming. He was dominant in winning the 200-meter individual medley Saturday during the three-day Arena Pro Swim Series in Minneapolis. "I'm happy that I was about where I was at the end of last season before nationals," Phelps told reporters. Phelps finished second in the 200 butterfly and third in the 100 fly earlier in the week.

—Alexander Pyles and Childs Walker

Major League Lacrosse

Expansion Blaze drafts Tucker, Ranagan, 13 others

The Atlanta Blaze selected 15 players in the Major League Lacrosse expansion draft, including several with local connections: Boston Cannons attackman Ryan Tucker (Gilman); Rochester Rattlers midfielder John Ranagan (Johns Hopkins); Chesapeake Bayhawks midfielder Henry Schoonmaker and defensemen Chris Hipps and CJ Costabile; and Florida Launch defenseman Casey Ikeda (Maryland). Tucker is the son of Blaze coach John Tucker (Johns Hopkins, Archbishop Curley). The Blaze also acquired midfielder Kevin Cooper (Maryland, Archbishop Spalding) in a trade with the Ohio Machine.

Et cetera

JHU's Cherry could return for football playoff game

A left ankle injury forced Brandon Cherry to miss Johns Hopkins' 49-24 romp at Centennial Conference rival McDaniel on Saturday, but the senior running back could be back for Saturday's NCAA Division III first-round game against Western New England. Coach Jim Margraff said the Boys' Latin graduate has returned to practice and "looked good." That could be significant as Cherry — who has carried the ball 107 times for 713 yards and eight touchdowns this season — and junior Stuart Walters (123 rushes for 798 yards and 16 scores) give the No. 8 Blue Jays (10-0) a 1-2 punch in the ground game against the Golden Bears (10-0).

—Edward Lee

Baseball: The Washington Nationals are bringing back former Oriole Rick Schu as their hitting coach and adding former major leaguers Jacques Jones as an assistant hitting coach and Chris Speier as bench coach or third base coach. Mike Rizzo Schu was part of last year's coaching staff, which was let go entirely when manager Matt Williams was fired last month. Also, right-hander David Carpenter refused an assignment to Triple-A Syracuse and elected free agency. ... The Detroit Tigers acquired former Orioles reliever Francisco Rodriguez from the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league infielder Javier Betancourt and a player to be named. Rodriguez, 33, went 1-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 2015. He had 38 saves in 40 chances.

NFL: The Detroit Lions placed former Ravens cornerback Josh Wilson (Maryland) on injured reserve with a knee injury. Wilson was injured in Sunday's win at Green Bay, where he started his fourth game this season and the 89th of his nine-year career. ... The New York Giants waived former Ravens cornerback Tramain Jacobs.

Indoor soccer: Blast defender Pat Healey (Towson University, Calvert Hall) was named to the Major Arena Soccer League Team of the Week. Healey had two assists and a block in a 6-0 win over the Syracuse Silver Knights on Saturday night. Goalie William Vanzela, who had six saves, was listed as an honorable mention.

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