YESTERDAY’S NEWS: MIDLANTIC WRAP
Midlantic-breds were in action in graded events coast-to-coast yesterday. Here are the results:
- Cathryn Sophia, tops in the Top Midlantic-bred Poll for three-year-olds through the end of March, finished a disappointing third as the 1-2 favorite in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland, though just a half-length from winning. She stalked the pace under Javier Castellano, bid up to put a head in front in the lane, but hung and was passed both by Rachel’s Valentina, whom she’d taken the lead from, and at the wire by longshot winner Weep No More.
- Mor Spirit, second in the Top Midlantic-bred Poll for three-year-olds through March, was a well-beaten second as the 7-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, which Exaggerator won by over six lengths.
- In other Midlantic-bred action:
- Behrnik’s Bank (PA) was scratched from the Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct because of the muddy conditions.
- Green Gratto (NJ) finished last of eight in the Grade 1 Carter at Aqueduct.
- American Dubai (VA) finished 13th, of 14, beaten by 26 lengths, in the Grade 1 Bluegrass at Keeneland.
- Spelling Again (PA) finished seventh of 11 in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland.
- In local stakes action:
- Awesome Speed was placed first in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park after finishing second but being bothered late in the race by Governor Malibu. The win grants Awesome Speed an automatic berth in the Grade 1 Preakness to be contested next month at Pimlico.
- A P Majetstic scored a surprising win — also by DQ — in the Weber City Miss Stakes at Laurel. She, too, finished second and was put up after stewards ruled that In the Navy Now had impeded her late run. The win grants her a spot in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes next month.
LOOKING AHEAD: TODAY’S RACING
- Sunday’s second race at Laurel Park — a second-level allowance/optional claimer with a $45,000 purse — includes the top two finishers from last year’s Punch Line Stakes for Virginia-breds. Winner Two Notch Road (5-2), a Glenn Thompson-trained Partner’s Hero gelding, has won the Punch Line each of the last two years in a career in which he’s earned nearly $346,000. For runner-up Made Bail (10-1), a Closing Argument gelding trained by Susan Cooney, that was his best result in three turf tries. Both runners will be making their season’s debut, and both will be hoping to overcome even-money favorite Pool Winner (9-5).
- A pair of third-level allowances top Laurel Park’s Sunday card. In the first, a six-furlong sprint carded as race seven, 2014 Maryland Million Sprint winner D C Dancer gets the nod as the 3-1 favorite. The Mike Trombetta trainee’s last was a disappointing sixth in the Ben’s Cat Stakes for Maryland-breds. In the next race, a 1 1/16 mile turf test, English Minister is the 2-1 morning line favorite; the Trombetta runner’s last win came last August in Saratoga. But he’ll have to contend with 2015 Laurel Turf Cup runner-up Perfect Title (5-2).
- A hard-knocking group is set to gather for the sixth at Parx Racing, an $8,000 starter allowance. The saltiest of the crew, Dan’s Gold (12-1), is a seven-year-old who’s won 14 of 60 starts with earnings just shy of $400,000. But favoritism lands on Master Yank (2-1), who enters off a five-length win, his second straight and sixth in 21 career starts. Those 21 starts for the Guadulupe Preciado trainee are 10 fewer than any other horse in the race has made.