King and Crusader made his first foray into his native state a winning one when he upset eight other Maryland-bred 2-year-olds in the $75,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship on Saturday's closing-day card at Laurel Park.
Rick Dutrow trains the son of Lion Heart, who was ridden for the first time by Victor Santiago.
They surrendered the front to even-money favorite Glib in midstretch, then reclaimed the lead near the wire to win by 11/4 lengths in 1 minute, 32.09 seconds for the 71/2-furlong distance. Jack's In the Deck finished third.
King and Crusader paid $34.60 and topped a $106.80 exacta and $445.40 trifecta.
"He broke sharp and I settled him down, made a little slow pace," said Santiago, who recently relocated to Maryland from the New York-New Jersey circuit. "My horse was not cooperating with me; he was lugging in a little bit. I had to grab the reins. As soon as I hit him, he straightened up and came back again. From there on, it was ride him to the wire."
Dutrow's brother Tony won the 2000 Maryland Juvenile Championship with Global Gait.
Plum takes Juvenile Filly
Plum was up in the final jump to win the co-featured $75,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship.
Travis Dunkelberger was up as the daughter of Pure Prize prevailed in the 71/2-furlong test by a head over More Than a Cruise, with Bluegrass Atatude two lengths back in third.
"I thought I got there," Dunkelberger said. "They were getting away from me on the turn. I hit her right-handed; she kind of sulked a little. I hit her left-handed, she exploded. Amazing filly."
Plum, three-for-four lifetime for trainer Rodney Jenkins, has made all of her starts at Laurel. Jenkins won last year's running of the Juvenile Filly Championship with Love's Reason.
"We haven't seen the best of this filly," Jenkins said. "Wait until she goes a mile and an eighth or a mile and a quarter. … She has such a natural stride. The rest of them looked like they were running their eyeballs out and she is galloping along."
Plum finished in 1:33.95 and paid $5.20 as the betting favorite.
Titles for Russell, Kobiskie
Sheldon Russell and Dane Kobiskie wrapped up year-end titles for the calendar year in the jockey and trainer divisions, respectively, at the major Maryland tracks.
Russell captured the riding title at all three meets at Laurel and Pimlico Race Course this year, finishing with 126 victories, 24 more than Julian Pimentel, including 55 during the Laurel fall meeting. The 24-year-old also led the colony with 10 stakes wins in the state, with three victories aboard Eighttofasttocatch and two with Red's Round Table and Concealed Identity.
Kobiskie saddled 58 winners at the major Maryland tracks during the campaign, 21 more than Dale Capuano. The 32-year-old former rider won the Laurel Futurity and Selima Stakes for 2-year-olds with Lemon Juice and Softly Lit, respectively.
Kobiskie finished runner-up in the fall standings with 29 wins, five fewer than Jamie Ness.