Photo by Laurie Asseo.

From Staff Reports


When Victory Carrasco climbed aboard Sophia’s Song in the Caesar’s Wish Stakes on Saturday, he probably expected to win.  The Bellamy Road filly was 3-10 at post time.

What he probably didn’t expect was what came next.  Sophia’s Song’s four-length victory kicked off a remarkable streak in which Carrasco won five of seven races at Laurel Park.

The veteran jock took the Caesar’s Wish and also the Saturday nightcap, a maiden claiming event, when he piloted first-time starter Eyerish Inspired to a clear win that delighted hunch players while the track’s St. Patrick’s Day party went on.  Eyerish Inspired returned $21.40 on a $2 win wager.

Carrasco continued to roll on Sunday, taking three of the day’s first five races.

He won the first, aboard Best Friends (8.10-1).  After settling for second in the second race and last in the third, Carrasco rebounded with wins in the fourth and fifth.  He won aboard Silver Bouquet (2.90-1) in the fourth race before he and Risky Guy (3.30-1) ran down Manando in the late stages to win the fifth.

Carrasco has 41 wins from 206 starts this hear and is first by wins (34) and second by earnings ($873,712) at Laurel Park in 2016.


In mid-stretch, it didn’t seem like Ducks Dock could get up in Sunday’s seventh from Parx Racing, a $10,000 claiming event.

But get up he did, rallying between horses in a frantic finish to win by a head over Here Comes Gary.  The first five finishers in the one-mile test were within 1 1/4 lengths of the winner.

It was the cherry on top of jockey J.D. Acosta’s Sunday sundae: his third consecutive victory.

Acosta previously had taken the fifth, aboard Oration, and the sixth on Folly Fashion.  Of the three, only Ducks Dock, at 2.60-1, was the post-time favorite.  The all-Acosta pick three for those races returned $283.70 on a $1 wager.

Acosta, a longtime fixture at Charles Town, currently leads all riders at Parx with 11 wins and $221,490 in earnings.



He’s Achance led wire to wire in Sunday’s Laurel Park feature, posting a two-length win in the second-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles.

The win brought a smile to the faces of winning rider Lane Luzzi, trainer Jason Egan, and owner Joan Everett — and to those bettors who played the five-year-old Cactus Ridge gelding.

He paid $54 to win and was yet one more longshot on a weekend when longshots ruled the roost.

Over the course of three racing days, and 26 races, nine of the winners — fully one-third — paid at least $18 on a $2 win wager.  Five of those winners paid at least $40, with four paying at least $50, and two of them returning over $100.

What’s it mean?  Could be chalky next weekend!


Three-year-old Easy River certainly took a step in the right direction Sunday.

The Maryland-bred Not for Love colt made a sweeping wide move on the turn to win the sixth, a first-level allowance for sophomores going six furlongs.  Running time was 1:11.84 on a track rated fast.

Easy River, ridden by Jevian Toledo, stalked the pace from fourth for the opening half-mile.  Given his cue leaving the three-eighths, he moved effortlessly while wide to take command in upper stretch and opened a big lead before holding his rivals safe for a 1 3/4 length victory.

Trained by Hamilton Smith for owner Kathleen Willier, who paid $60,000 at auction for him, Easy River now has won two of six starts and earned over $70,000.