Photo by Laurie Asseo.

From Staff Reports

LAUREL PARK: CARRASCO WINS FIVE OUT OF SEVEN

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.

PARX RACING: NATURAL HAT TRICK FOR ACOSTA

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.

LAUREL PARK: BOMBERS CONTINUE DOMINANCE

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!

LAUREL PARK: SHARP WIN FOR EASY RIVER

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.