Lights of Medina earns Black-Eyed Susan berth by winning Weber City Miss


Trainer Todd Pletcher may not have a horse in the Kentucky Oaks, but he could have one in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

Lights of Medina, under Feargal Lynch, ran by the pacesetting Forever Liesl inside the sixteenth pole to win Saturday’s $125,000 Weber City Miss Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by two lengths at Laurel Park. The Weber Miss is designated by the Maryland Jockey Club as a Win and You’re In race for the Grade 2, $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico on May 19.

The complexion of the Weber City Miss changed dramatically Saturday morning when Jenda’s Agenda, expected to be the odds-on favorite, was scratched by the track veterinarian because she didn’t like the way the 3-year-old filly jogged after arriving by van from Delaware Park, according to trainer Larry Jones. Jenda’s Agenda had won her three previous starts, including the Caesar’s Wish at Laurel last month.

Jones said he wouldn’t have wanted to run Jenda’s Agenda on a wet track anyway, and rain turned Laurel’s main track sloppy by post time.

In the Weber City, Forever Liesl took the lead under Jevian Toledo and set fractions of 23.87 seconds for the quarter-mile, 47.69 for the half-mile, and 1:13.18 for six furlongs.

Lights of Medina stalked Forever Liesl from second. In upper stretch, it appeared that Forever Liesl was spurting away, but Lights of Medina kept grinding away and ran her down.

Lights of Medina, a daughter of Eskendereya owned by Sumaya US Stable, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.22 in the slop and returned $4 as the favorite.

Forever Liesl finished second by 15 1/2 lengths over Frank’s Folly. Star Super was last.

“My filly kept grinding away, grinding away and we wore them down,” Lynch said. “She’ll keep galloping and give you everything all the way.”