Yesterday and today: April 24 racing highlights

by Apr 24, 2016Breaking, Maryland, MD Racing, PA Racing, Pennsylvania, Racing, Regionwide, West Virginia, WV Racing

Monster Sleeping won an allowance at Laurel Park on April 3. Photo by The Racing Biz.

From Staff Reports



Two members of the Top Midlantic-bred Poll for older horses — #1 Page McKenney and #3 Sonny Inspired — ran in Saturday’s $1.25 million, Grade 2 Charles Town Classic.  

  • Page McKenney ran a dogged second, chasing loose-on-the-lead Stanford all the way around the track before settling for second, beaten by two lengths.  Page McKenney earned $234,000 for his exertions.
  • Sonny Inspired raced up close in third and fourth for three-quarters of a mile before backing up, eventually finishing eighth, beaten by 7 1/2 lengths.
  • In addition, West Virginia-bred Charitable Annuity tried his hand at the big race, stepping out of state-bred company to contest the Classic.  He finished ninth, beaten by 11 lengths.

Another member of the Top Midlantic-bred Poll was also in action Saturday.  Pennsylvania-bred Finest City, ranked fifth in the most recent poll, rallied from sixth place to upset the Grade 2 Great Lady M Stakes at Los Alamitos.  Under Kent Desormeaux, the four-year-old City Zip filly swung four wide entering the lane and got clear of the leaders late to win by 1 1/4 lengths for trainer Ian Kruljac.  It was the first graded stakes win for Finest City.


  • Rose Brier set a Laurel turf course record in winning the Henry S. Clark Stakes yesterday, traveling one mile in 1:33.11.
  • Raging Smoke lit up the toteboard in taking the $150,000 Sugar Maple Stakes at Charles Town Races.  The Pennsylvania-bred, Michael Salvaggio trainee took the seven-furlong test in 1:25.66 under J.D. Acosta and paid $75.80 to win.
  • Javier Castellano, who later took the Charles Town Classic, also scored in the $100,000 Robert Hilton Memorial Stakes when recent maiden winner Dig Deep wore down favored Quijote to win by 1 3/4 lengths for trainer Alan Goldberg.
  • A pair of West Virginia-breds punched their tickets to the West Virginia Breeders Classics in the fall with victories in “Win and You’re In” events.  Candy Man’s Girl is Cavada-bound after she posted a front-running score under Antonio Lopez in the Original Gold at Charles Town, just holding off the stuck-in-a-box Red Hot Diva.  And In the Fairway — after a winless ’15 — won for the second straight time this year when rallying to a dominant win in the Confucius Say under Arnaldo Bocachica; as a result, he has a free pass to the Onion Juice on Classics night.  Local fan favorites Lucy’s Bob Boy and Russell Road finished third and seventh, respectively.
  • A pair of talented two-year-olds returned as running sophomores yesterday at Charles Town.  In her first start since last October’s Breeders Classics, R C’s Daisyduke went wire to wire to win the Its Binn Too Long by a diminishing half-length under jockey Gerald Almodovar.  Two races later, Bullets Fever ran his record to four-for-four when romping by four lengths under Arnaldo Bocachica in the Coin Collector Stakes.


  • $1 million auction purchase Espresso Time, who debuted at Laurel, finishing third back in July, returns to the central Maryland track still in search of her first victory.  The Graham Motion-trained Tapit filly spent the winter at Gulfstream Park, notching a pair of thirds in three starts, two on the grass.  Here, she’s the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite in a nine-horse field set to go 1 1/16 miles and will have Trevor McCarthy up.  But others in here — including Motion’s own Snuck a Little Fun (9-2), deserve a look, too.
  • A rugged crew of turf-sprinting fillies and mares is set to gather for Laurel Park’s featured eighth race, a third allowance going 5 1/2 furlongs on the lawn.  Scuba Sue (3-1), making her first start off the claim for trainer Jeremiah Englehart (26 percent win off his last 47 first-claim horses), is the favorite and will have Angel Cruz up.  But the field also includes the improving Lovable Lady (6-1), making her first turf try; late-closing Forest Funds (4-1); Aquinnah (6-1), who won or placed in four ’15 stakes; and ’14 Selima winner Miss Bullistic (15-1), returning to the game she’s done best.
  • The top two morning line horses in the ninth at Parx Racing, a $25,000 maiden claimer, share something inauspicious.  Favored Lucky Greatness (2-1) is winless in nine career starts (9-0-3-2) but enters off back-to-back placings against similar.  And Love Is All (3-1), enters with a winless ledger in eight tries (8-0-0-3) but was most recently third against similar (though beaten 13 lengths).