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.
"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.
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.