A dozen 2-year-olds, including the rags-to-riches gelding Doubly Clear, were entered for the 61st and richest running of the Laurel Futurity Saturday.
The Grade 1 classic has been won by five Triple Crown winners and 22 eventual 2-year-old champions. The Futurity is considered one of the showcases for next year's Triple Crown hopefuls.
Owner Judy Bujnicki paid $1,500 for Doubly Clear at a Timonium sale last year with a borrowed check. Doubly Clear has since won four added-money events and his owner has turned down several offers of $1 million.
The bay son of the obscure sire Two A Day tuned up for the 1 1/16-mile race with a seven-furlong work in 1:28 1/5. He will be ridden by his regular jockey, Joe Garcia. Winner's share of the $292,475 will be $169,485.
Chief competiton to Doubly Clear is expected to come from lightly raced Mighty Appealing, winner of his only two starts over the Laurel strip. Mighty Appealing will again be ridden by Gregg Smith.
Another serious contender is Mugzy's Rullah, a late-running colt from New York who will be ridden by Belmont's leading rider, Jorge Velasquez. Mugzy's Rullah has won two races and finished strongly to be third in his last two starts in the Hopeful at Saratoga and Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park.
Completing the field are World Peace, Bolting Home, Cutlass Reality, I'm A Rutabaga, Sparkling Jay, Nickel Back, Rhoman Rule, Rain Shelter and Haberdasher. All starters carry 122 pounds. Post time is about 4:30 p.m.
Two American horses have joined the Washington, D.C. International for its 33rd running on Oct. 20 at Laurel.
Invitations have been accepted by the Greentree Stable for the 3-year-old Ends Well and by the Dogwood Stable for Domynsky.
The acceptance for the two U.S. horses brings the prospective field to eight, including Secreto, the Epsom Derby winner.
Jockey Chris Antley, one of the more capable apprentices to ride in Maryland in recent years, has the most victories by an apprentice for the year, 220. The national ratings also show Antley is second among apprentice riders in money won with $1,851,865.
Trainer King T. Leatherbury is second in the races won standings with 151. Jack Van Berg is the leader with 187.