July 28 racing highlights: Russell wins first race back

by | Jul 28, 2016 | Breaking, DE Racing, Delaware, PA Racing, Pennsylvania, Racing, Regionwide

Sheldon Russell. Photo by The Racing Biz.

From Staff Reports


Oft-injured jockey Sheldon Russell made his first start of 2016 this past weekend, running a closing second at Laurel Park.

On Wednesday at Delaware Park, in a 1 mile 70 yard, $36,000 turf allowance, he earned his first victory of the season.

Aboard Moss Code for trainer Niall Saville, Russell and his mount rallied from last in an eight-horse field to get up in the final yards and win by just a nose over Tobias.  It was just another half-length back to 20-1 Black Tie Event in third, while favored Cort’n Asong finished fourth.

Russell tore his labrum and fractured his shoulder in a November training accident and missed about eight months of action while recovering.  It was hardly his first riding injury; in fact, the 28-year-old Russell has broken nearly 20 bones in his career.  In between, he’s established himself as one of Maryland’s top riders, with 1,061 career wins, including three in graded company.  Coincidentally, he and trainer Saville are longtime friends, both having learned their crafts under the tutelage of trainer Michael Dickinson.

Russell now has a win and two seconds in four starts since his return.

It took Moss Code, a four-year-old Congrats gelding, until his 11th career start to earn his first win. Now he’s won two of his last three and pushed his career earnings past $115,000.

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  • Delaware Park: $1,379,158
  • Penn National: $698,958


  • Delaware Park: 2
  • Penn National: 3


    • Carol Cedeno, 2 wins at Delaware
    • Dana Whitney, 3 wins at Penn National
    • Brandon Kulp, 2 wins at Penn National




  • Tracks in action today: Delaware Park, Penn National, Charles Town.
  • Juvenile fillies square off in a $34,000 maiden special weight contest this afternoon at Delaware Park (race 8).  Larry Jones trainee Perfect Prediction (5-2), making her career debut, gets the nod as morning line favorite and will have Gabriel Saez up; the daughter of Majesticperfection is a half-sis to stake winner Three Day Rush.  Trainer Tom Proctor has a pair in here in Sneaky Betty (3-1), fourth on debut at Monmouth, and Godello (7-2), making her career bow.  Also represented are trainers John Servis, with third-time starter Lil Miss Hotshot (9-2), and Tim Ritchey, with debut runner Patriotic Endeavor (8-1).
  • On Sunday, Heiko (8-1) set a Laurel Park turf course record, zipping 1 mile 1/16 in 1:40.47, earning his third consecutive victory. Operating on the “strike while the iron is hot” theory, trainer Dimitrios Synnefias has the Mr. Greeley gelding right back in action this evening, in a $30,400 allowance/optional claimer going 1 mile 70 yards on the grass.  Edwin Gonzalez, who rode him in Maryland, retains the mount.  I’m the Lucky One (9-5), who has defeated similar foes in his last two starts for trainer Anthony Pecoraro, is favored.
  • T Rex Express (1-1) goes for her fifth straight win this evening at Charles Town in race seven, a $24,000 allowance contest going 6 1/2 furlongs. The Jeff Runco-trained daughter of Warrior’s Reward has won five of eight starts overall and will have regular pilot Arnaldo Bocachica in the irons.  Her main rival looks to be Ollie Figgins trainee Tribal Heat (2-1).