- Rusty Slipper — G3 VioletS. (MTH)
- Trained by Graham Motion for Zanim Meahjohn
- Page McKenney — Robellino S. (PEN)
- Trained by Mary Eppler for Adam Staple
- Bred in Pennsylvania by Dr. James E. Bryant & Linda P. Davis
- Hobo Ridge — Turning for Home S. (PRX)
- Trained by Marcos Zulueta for M-Z Racing Partnership
- Lucy’s Bob Boy — Frank Gall Memorial S. (CT)
- Trained by Sandra Dono for Michael Furr
- Bred in West Virginia by Robert W. Furr Sr.
- Winning Cause — G3 Cliff Hanger S. (MTH)
- Trained by Todd Pletcher for Alto Racing LLC[/boxify]
In weekend stakes action…
- Bettors made Overheard the 8-5 favorite in Saturday’s Grade 3 Cliff Hanger at Monmouth Park, and she came with a strong late kick. But it wasn’t nearly enough to catch Rusty Slipper, who posted a 13-1 upset. The Graham Motion trainee stalked the pace of Why Katherine from second before kicking home to post a 1 1/4 length win under Alex Cintron in 1:49.07 for 1 1/8 miles on the good turf. Overheard was second, and longshot Fasnacloich grabbed third. Rusty Slipper has now won four of seven starts in her career with earnings of $128,014. “She finished good,” explained her rider. “I had a lot of horse and when I called on her she took off.”
- Scratches left five runners in Saturday’s Robellino Stakes at Penn National, and that opened the door for Page McKenney to roll to a nearly two length victory under journeyman jock Horacio Karamanos. Page McKenney stalked the pace of favored Edge of Reality, ran that one into the ground, and had plenty left to hold the closers safe. Van Persie was second, and Starry Moon grabbed third in the $75,000 event for three-year-olds and up bred in Pennsylvania. Running time for 1 1/16 miles on the dirt — originally scheduled for the turf — was not available because of a teletimer malfunction. The son of Eavesdropper, who took 13 tries to break his maiden, has now won eight of 26 career starts and earned $232,378. The Robellino was his first stake win.
- Rain forced the Turning for Home Stakes at Parx Racing off the turf and onto the muddy, sealed main track. That caused a wave of defections, as six of eight runners scratched. That gave Hobo Ridge the opportunity to win the first stake of his 50-start career, and he did so like a tremendous machine, defeating his lone rival, Change of Command, who stumbled badly at the start, by 24 lengths in 1:47.49 for 1 1/16 miles. Hobo Ridge, ridden by Angel Castillo, has now won 10 of 50 career starts and earned $328,074.
- The matchup of killer West Virginia-breds in Saturday’s Frank Gall Memorial Stakes at Charles Town was something of an anti-climax. Speedy Lucy’s Bob Boy surged to the early lead in the seven furlong affair and didn’t look back, cruising to a three-length victory in 1:24.97. His main rival, Russell Road, chased throughout in second and finished in that spot, while Allegheny Jack was third. Indeed, there was no change in the running order from the first call to the finish. Lucy’s Bob Boy was ridden to victory by Arnaldo Bocachica. It was the Sandra Dono trainee’s second straight win and gave him 19 from 28 starts with earnings of $716,665. Russell Road, meanwhile, has won 27 of 51 career starts and earned more than $1.6 million.
- Winning Cause picked a good time to win his first race in more than a year. The four-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding, never far back in Monmouth’s Grade 3 Cliff Hanger on Sunday, surged to command at the head of the lane and had just enough to hold off late-running favorite Big Blue Kitten. Plainview was third. Winning Cause navigated the 1 1/8 miles on the turf in 1:46.16, just .08 seconds off the course record. Winning Cause has now won five of 22 career starts with earnings of $556,274. “I just sat back and got my horse relaxed,” said winning jockey Eddie Castro. “Around the turn, I started to make my move and I looked back and saw that I had the jump on Big Blue Kitten and just rode hard to the wire.”
One runner from the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll was scheduled to be in action this weekend. Darwin, ranked fifth among older horses, was slated to tackle the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood but did not go to the post.
- Horses bred in the mid-Atlantic made their presence known at Saratoga over the weekend. Maryland-bred The Big Beast came, said track announcer Tom Durkin, “with giant strides” to run down Fast Anna in the shadow of the wire to win the Grade 1 King’s Bishop by a neck. It was the first stake win for the son of Yes It’s True, bred by Green Willow Farm; he now has three wins from five starts and earnings of $415,500. Another regional runner, Pennsylvania-bred Nellie Cashman, ran third at long odds in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa on the lawn.
- Two other region-breds also ran on the Saratoga Saturday card. Virginia-bred Noble Moon ran fourth at long odds in the King’s Bishop, while New Jersey-bred Geeky Gorgeous ran seventh in the Grade 1 Ballerina.
(Featured photo by Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO.)