The $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, on Dec. 7 is among the next-out options for Maryland Million Classic winner Forest Fire, trainer John Servis said Sunday morning.
Forest Fire scored a half-length victory under Paco Lopez in the 1 1/8-mile Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park on Saturday to win his fourth straight race and notch his first stakes victory.
“We had to stop on him last year. He had minor surgery, and when we brought him back, he had another issue and he had to have minor surgery again,” Servis said. “Since we’ve done the second minor surgery, he hasn’t been beaten. He’s getting better and he’s a horse that’s still putting everything together.”
Forest Fire became Claiming Crown eligible when he returned from his second surgery for a $35,000 claiming price in a July 29 optional claiming allowance at Parx. The 4-year-old gelded son of Friesan Fire returned with a victory and returned to Servis’ barn when there were no claims made for the Pennsylvania-bred. Forest Fire came right back to win another optional claiming allowance at Parx before winning the Maryland Million Classic.
Servis said he would also take a look at the $100,000 Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Nov. 30 for Forest Fire. Both the Jewel and the Small are run at 1 1/8 miles.
>> Approximately 20,000 people attended Saturday’s 34th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day. Total handle was $5.783 million, a 1.4% increase over last year.
>> The owners of Laurel Park stakes winner Miss J McKay, first to the wire in each of her three starts, will be pre-entered Wednesday in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1), to be run Friday, Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. Trainer Cal Lynch said Sidney Karmia’s Maxis Stable, Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stable and Marc and Joe Lore of Wonder Stables decided to pay the six-figure fee to supplement Miss J McKay, who was not originally nominated to the Breeders’ Cup. Miss J McKay was a dominant five-length winner of the $100,000 Anne Arundel County Stakes Sept. 28 over Laurel’s turf course. The five-furlong Juvenile Turf Sprint will be the Breeders’ Cup debut for the Laurel-based Lynch, a winner of 800 career races including the 2017 Withers (G3) and Jerome (G3) with El Areeb and 2013 General George (G3) at Laurel with Javerre.
College field hockey: A five-goal third quarter pushed second-ranked Maryland (14-2, 6-1 Big Ten) past No. 21 Ohio State, 6-3, on Sunday. The visiting Terps trailed Ohio State, 2-0, at halftime before surging ahead, including a stretch of four in a 5:19 span. Freshman Emma DeBerdine and sophomore Bibi Donraadt both scored twice to lead the Terps past the Buckeyes (6-7, 1-4).
Women’s college soccer: Mount St. Mary’s (3-11-1, 2-5-1 Northeast Conference) fell, 3-0, at Sacred Heart (8-5-2, 5-1-1). The Pioneers scored all three goals in the second half to pull away for the victory.