Florida-Based Filly Seeks First Stakes Win in Saturday Sprint
BALTIMORE – Elena Racing Inc.’s stakes-placed Happy Constitution will be trading in the warmth of South Florida for the chill of Maryland when she goes after her first stakes victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Safely Kept at Laurel Park.
The 31st running of the seven-furlong Safely Kept for 3-year-old fillies is one of three $100,000 stakes on a nine-race program, along with the City of Laurel for 3-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs and Richard W. Small for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles.
First race post time is 12:25 p.m.
Eleven sophomores comprise the Safely Kept field including eight-time stakes winner Street Lute; Jerry Robb-trained stablemate Princess Kokachin, on a four-race win streak; and Aug. 21 Miss Disco winner Malibu Beauty, second to Street Lute and Hello Beautiful in two subsequent starts. All three are cross-entered in Friday’s $75,000 Politely for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 3 and up at Laurel.
Happy Constitution has never raced outside of Florida with one start at Gulfstream Park West last fall and the other nine at Gulfstream Park, where she exits a four-length optional claiming allowance triumph over older horses Nov. 7, her first start for leading trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. She shipped to Joseph’s Belmont Park string Tuesday.
It was also Happy Constitution’s first race since finishing fourth as the favorite after being bumped hard at the start of a May 2 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream. Prior to that effort, she was beaten a nose when second to Army Wife, who would go on to capture the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at historic Pimlico Race Course in May.
“We took her over a few months ago, and her first start for us she won nicely,” Joseph said. “She had run well before in a couple of her starts. She was second to Army Wife, so she already came with decent form. She kind of ran disappointing before she got a layoff and then she came to us.
“We figured off of her last race we’d give her a shot,” he added. “It’s the last chance to run against straight 3-year-old fillies, so we wanted to give her the chance to try and win a stake. She has faced some good company. Hopefully she’ll be very competitive in that spot.”
Happy Constitution returned to training in late July at Monmouth Park and has been at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, since mid-September.
“Her training really got well her last few works before she was ready to run. She really started to pick it up,” Joseph said. “When she first came in I thought she just trained very average, but before the last race I would say her last three or four works were very good and I thought she ran to how she trained.”
Happy Constitution drew outside Post 11 and will be reunited with jockey J.C. Diaz Jr., who also makes the trip north after being aboard last out. Joseph said he isn’t concerned about the climate switch.
“I think it’s a little booster for them, if anything,” he said. “They’re going from the warmer weather to the cooler weather, it gives them a breath of fresh air. I think it helps them.”
Team Gaudet and Five Hellions Farm’s multiple stakes-placed Fraudulent Charge is entered to make her third start off a layoff in the Safely Kept. She ran second to Street Lute in the 2020 Gin Talking and 2021 Wide Country was runner-up again in the March 13 Beyond the Wire – beaten a total of 1 ½ lengths.
Trainer Lacey Gaudet gave the Will Take Charge filly some time off and she returned to be third behind undefeated Moquist in a seven-furlong allowance Oct. 16. Most recently, Fraudulent Charge ran second as the favorite to Princess Kokachin in an open entry-level allowance sprinting six furlongs Oct. 31; both races came at Laurel.
“She’s doing great. I think that three-quarters was taking her a little bit out of her element and she still ran really well,” Gaudet said. “I think there were a few things that were a little unfortunate about the first race off the layoff. It took her a little while to get fit, but I’m pretty positive that she’s 100 percent tight now so that puts her in a better position, too.
“It’s the last 3-year-old race. She’s run extremely respectably in the allowance races and been beaten by two nice horses,” she added. “We want to stretch her out but there’s not a good spot that comes up. We’d like to stay home with her. We want to see how she draws. So far she’s going into it really well. We’ll see how she finishes the week up.”
Johan Rosado gets the call on Fraudulent Charge from Post 8.
Cash is King and LC Racing’s Juror Number Four is coming out of a 4 ¼-length restricted allowance victory over her elders Nov. 7 at Laurel, where she owns three wins and a second from four lifetime tries. She ran fourth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in the Miss Preakness (G3) May 14 at Pimlico and was second by less than two lengths to Street Lute in the 2020 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship.
Prodigy Doll, winner of the Cheryl S. White Memorial April 10 at Mahoning Valley and eighth in the Miss Preakness; twice stakes-placed Be Sneaky; Belle of the North, a Laurel maiden winner Sept. 24; Hybrid Eclipse and Peyton Elizabeth complete the field. Linda Rice-trained Hybrid Eclipse is cross-entered in the Saturday’s Comely (G3) at Aqueduct, where Army Wife is the 7-5 program favorite.
The Safely Kept honors the champion sprinter of 1989 and member of the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The daughter of longtime Maryland sire Horatius was the first sprinter to top $2 million in earnings, the first Maryland-bred to win a Breeders’ Cup race in the 1990 Sprint (G1), a four-time Maryland-bred champion including Horse of the Year twice (1989,1990) and is one of only seven horses to win three Maryland Million races. She won 24 races, 22 in stakes, from 31 lifetime starts.