There are a pair of juvenile stakes in the mid-Atlantic region today, both restricted to state-breds. Here’s what’s on tap:
A year ago, Gracer won the Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Penn National and followed that up with two more victories, including an emphatic 10-length score in the Dearly Precious at Aqueduct, to stamp herself among the top sprinting juvenile fillies in the country. There does not appear to be a Gracer in this evening’s edition of the $75,000 Blue Mountain, but it’s an intriguing mix of Pennsylvania-bred fillies set to go six furlongs.
Rockin Jojo, a daughter of Street Magician, gets the nod as the tepid favorite at 3-1, and why not? The Bernie Houghton trainee broke her maiden against open company and most recently was third, beaten just a half-length, in the Maryland Million Lassie — a race that has already produced three next-out winners. Breaking from the outside, she may have the opportunity to work out a better trip than she had that day.
Second-favorite Awesome Singer won at first asking at Parx with a solid 60 Beyer, and trainer Cal Lynch has a positive ROI with two-year-olds. On the other hand, none of the five to run back from the maiden score has won.
A pair of entries may also have an impact. Steven Brown’s two-horse entry includes the speedster Chillin’ It, who will need to show enhanced stamina after giving ground in the stretch twice at shorter distances, and Chilly Start, who had two wins and a second on the synthetic at Presque Isle Downs and most recently was fifth in Laurel’s Smart Halo Stakes against much better company than she’ll face here. Owner Tom McClay counters with a three-horse entry — with three different trainers — that includes Brennan, a recent five-length winner against local allowance foes, and Miss Rockport, third against Parx allowance runners.
The Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies will be the second race of the evening with a post time of 6:27 and will start an all-stakes pick three.
Later in the evening, at Charles Town, five juveniles are set to contest the $50,000 West Virginia Futurity at seven furlongs.
If John Casey has his way, it’ll be the John Casey Show, as three of the five — including the top two in the morning line — come from his barn. There’s nothing to dislike about what Hear the Chatter has done so far in his young career. The son of Mass Media has won four of five — including three stakes — with a single second-place finish to blemish his record. He most recently won the Tri-State Futurity, at the same distance, by six lengths and faces two of those vanquished rivals here. He’s 4-5 on the morning line.
The same connections — trainer Casey and owner Kristy Petty — also send out second-fave One More Time (2-1), who ran second in the Tri-State.
John McKee’s Silver Majesty won by seven at first asking going 4 1/2 furlongs — but that was back in June.
Rounding out the field are Casey’s homebred Too Much to Do (8-1), recently fourth in the Tri-State, and the filly Sassafras Springs, an Ollie Figgins trainee who finished sixth in the filly division of the Tri-State.
Post time for the West Virginia Futurity, which is race eight on the card, is 10:11.
For more info on the weekend’s racing:
- Gabby Gaudet’s longshots and exotic plays
- Local trainers look to pull Swatara shocker
- King Henry carries local hopes in Fabulous Strike