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Riding high, McCarthy wins three stakes at Laurel Park

High Roller, ridden by Trevor McCarthy, won the $75,000 Frank Whiteley Jr. Saturday at Laurel Park.
High Roller, ridden by Trevor McCarthy, won the $75,000 Frank Whiteley Jr. Saturday at Laurel Park. (Laurel Park)

Louis Ulman and Stephen Parker's High Roller opened his sophomore season successfully, taking the lead at the top of the stretch and holding off a bid from favored stakes winner O Dionysus to win the $75,000 Frank Whiteley Jr. on Saturday at Laurel Park.

The sixth running of the 7-furlong Whiteley for 3-year-olds was the first of four stakes worth $300,000 in purses on the nine-race program that included the $75,000 Marshua for 3-year-old fillies and $75,000 Nellie Morse for fillies and mares 4 and up. All three stakes were won by jockey Trevor McCarthy, Maryland's leading rider in 2014 and 2016.

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"I've never won three in a day before," McCarthy said. "I knew I had a very good chance of doing well today, but I wasn't sure I could win [three]. The trainers did a great job and had them ready."

The Whiteley was the fourth career start and second in a stakes for High Roller ($12.20), who finished third behind well-regarded subsequent Grade 2 winner El Areeb in the James F. Lewis III on Nov. 19 at Laurel. The winning time was 1 minute, 23.86 seconds over a fast main track.

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In other stakes races:

•Equine Prep's Star Super, second in back-to-back stakes to end her 2-year-old campaign, rallied after being headed in deep stretch to edge Lucky in Malibu by a neck and earn her first black-type victory in the Marshua. Star Super hit the wire in 1:11.30 for 6 furlongs.

•Matthew Schera's Winter took the lead around the far turn and earned her first stakes win by taking the Nellie Morse by 23/4 lengths. The winner covered 11/16 miles in 1:45.32.

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