Photo by Laurie Asseo.
From Staff Reports
LAUREL PARK: MOTION BAGS TWO
Trainer Graham Motion scored twice yesterday at Laurel Park, giving him four wins on the meet.
He took the third race, a maiden special weight test for three-year-olds, with Aegis and then won the fifth, a $15,000 claiming event, with Jolity.
Aegis impressed in romping to a nearly seven-length win in the third. The sophomore Bellamy Road colt took the lead early, controlled the pace through solid splits, and then drew off to the easy win. Running time for about a mile and a sixteenth was 1:47.28, with Jevian Toledo in the irons.
Aegis, making just his second career start — he was fourth on debut at Aqueduct — still is quite green and switched leads repeatedly in the late stages of the race. He also may have benefited from an apparent recent speed bias in two-turn races at Laurel.
Aegis, owned by Robert LaPenta, was a $250,000 auction purchase at the Keeneland September 2014 Yearling Sale.
LAUREL PARK: FOUR CLAIMED FROM FIFTH
Claiming trainers sure liked what they saw in yesterday’s fifth race at Laurel. They claimed four horses out of the race, including the top three finishers.
The race, for three-year-old fillies with claiming prices ranging from $15,000 down to $11,000, had eight runners.
Winner Jolity went to trainer Charlie Frock, while the runner-up, Kyleigh’s Smile, went to Bobby Lee Plummer, and the show horse, Rise to the Top, went to Jay Bernardini. All three went for $15,000. Trainer Dale Capuano grabbed sixth-place finisher Eve for $11,000.
There were five shakes for Jolity, a Kitten’s Joy filly, and two for Rise to the Top.
CHARLES TOWN: TWO BY FOUR
Four men — three jockeys and a trainer — registered two wins last night at Charles Town.
Trainer Ronney Brown scored twice in nickel claiming company. Pinkie Pie, with Arnaldo Bocachica up, won the third race by a half-length; and Able Baker and J.D. Acosta took the sixth at odds-on.
Brown leads all Charles Town trainers by wins, with 27 (from 105 starters), and is second, to Jeff Runco, with earnings just north of $270,000.
Jockeys Bocachica and Acosta each won two races on the day, as did Antonio Lopez. All three are well behind Jose Montano in the jockey standings, as he has 37 wins, well clear of Bocachica, who is in second with 26.
Meanwhile, Cat Come Home won the day’s only non-claiming event, taking a maiden special weight for three-year-olds and up by a neck. Cat Come Home, trained by owner/breeder John McKee, was second in all three starts as a juvenile but had not raced since September. Running time for 4 1/2 furlongs was a sharp 51.74 seconds.
PENN NATIONAL: STITES AS NICE
Trainer Flint Stites visited the Penn National winner’s circle twice on Friday. He is currently third among trainers in both wins and earnings at the Grantville track.
Stites and jockey Wilmer Garcia teamed up to take the evening’s first race, a maiden claiming event, with Magpie Maggie, who won by a length over favored Ninety Lbs of Fury.
Stites later legged up Andrew Wolfsont aboard favorite Jet Streak, who obliterated a field of $25,000 claiming horses by seven lengths. Jet Streak, a Tapit gelding, has won just twice in 19 career starts but has won two of his last four.
Both of Stites’s winning jockeys, Wilmer Garcia and Andrew Wolfsont, won two races on the evening.
Wolfsont won the evening’s feature aboard Thinking of Girls, a Rodrigo Madrigal trainee. Sent straight to the front in the six furlong allowance test, Thinking of Girls outdueled favored Caladbolg on the front end and held off the late exertions of Old Upstart.