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Laurel-based Lebda considered for Derby qualifier

Having exited the first loss of his 3-year-old season in good shape, Laurel Park-based multiple stakes winner Lebda is under consideration for the $1 million Haskell (G1) on July 18 at Monmouth Park.

Owned by Euro Stable and trained by Laurel Park summer meet-leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez, Lebda is among 34 horses nominated to the 1 1/8-mile Haskell, which this year will serve as a points qualifier to the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby (G1).

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Gonzalez said he expects to make a decision this week after speaking with Euro’s Valter Ramos, who paid $3,000 by the June 4 deadline to make Lebda a late nominee to the Triple Crown.

“I have to talk to the owner, and we want to see who’s going to come for the Haskell. We might take a look at that race,” Gonzalez said. “You never know. We’re going to see how he continues to do, and then we’ll decide.”

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Lebda won the one-mile Miracle Wood and the two-turn Private Terms, contested at about 1 1/16 miles, on his home track over the winter. The latter came March 14, one day before Maryland racing was put on pause for 2 ½ months amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Live racing resumed in Maryland May 30 but with stakes races on hold, Gonzalez targeted the 1 1/8-mile Ohio Derby (G3) June 27 for Lebda’s return. Sent off as the fourth choice in a field of 13 at odds of 6-1, Lebda pressed an opening quarter in 22.80 seconds and then led after a half in 47.22 before tiring to sixth.

“He came back good,” Gonzalez said. “He went really fast the first quarter; 22 [seconds] for a mile and an eighth is a little too fast.”

Amateur golf: Loyola Maryland rising senior Evan Brown will play in the 120th United States Amateur next month at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort that runs along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean.

Brown and a reduced field of 264 players will compete from Aug. 10-16 for the title of the nation’s top amateur golfer.

“Being invited to play in the United States Amateur Championship is a high honor,” Brown said. “I am extremely excited to compete in such a highly esteemed, world-class event against the best amateurs at Bandon Dunes in August.”

A two-time PING All-Northeast Region honoree, Brown received an invitation based on his standing on the World Amateur Golf Rankings. During the shortened 2019-20 season, Brown set the school’s single-season scoring record by both score (70.95) and average versus par (-0.47).

He carded 12 out of 19 rounds at or below par, and in tournament play, he had a head-to-head winning percentage of 89.2 percent against individual competitors.

The 2020 Loyola Male Junior Athlete of the Year, Brown averaged 3.975 strokes on par fours and 4.615 on par fives during the season while tying the school record for eagles in a season with five in just 19 rounds.

He wrapped up the shortened season with two second-place finishes in his last two tournaments. Brown shot 66-69-70 at the Fort Lauderdale Intercollegiate in March after shooting 10-under (68-72-66) to take second at the Loyola Intercollegiate in Goodyear, Arizona.

This summer, Brown finished second at the Delaware Amateur Championship in June, coming up just short in a three-way playoff for medalist honors. He then was 42nd at the North and South Amateur Championship earlier this month in Pinehurst, North Carolina on the Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 4 courses.

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