Weekend wrap: April 24
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Our weekend wrap: news and notes from the weekend’s mid-Atlantic racing action.
- Chilly A two-time stakes winner at two, Cool Arrow, a three-year-old trained by Joe Sharp for Brad Grady, was still looking to find the range in his sophomore campaign. Saturday in the Robert Hilton Memorial at Charles Town, the Into Mischief colt bounced back to earn a 3 1/2-length score under John Velazquez, completing the seven furlong-distance in 1:26.19. Maryland-bred Liar’s Dice was second. Cool Arrow now has now has four wins, and $333,815 in purse earnings, from nine starts. For more of our Charles Town coverage:
- Up-and-coming Ascend and jockey Feargal Lynch in eighth place in Saturday’s grassy, $75,000 Henry S. Clark Stakes with just an eighth of a mile to go. But by the end, they were in first, a half-length ahead of runner-up Synchrony. “I just had so much horse when I turned into the stretch and I wanted to give him a clear run, and the horse just ran them down at the end,” Lynch said. The Graham Motion trainee, possibly headed to the Grade 2 Dixie next, earned his first stakes win, and fifth victory overall.
- Double or nothing Trainer Graham Motion double-dipped on stakes scores Saturday. Two races prior to the Clark, in the $75,000 Dahlia over the Laurel lawn, his Danilovna took advantage of a whiffed turn by leader Catcha Rising Star to surge to a one-length victory over 36-1 outsider Northern Smile. It was the first stakes win for the lightly race daughter of Dansili, whose best result to date was a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Autumn Miss last October at Santa Anita. “This filly could be very decent,” Motion said. “She’s improved over the winter. She’s filled out and grown up and we’re excited about her. I’d love to look at the Gallorette on Preakness Day as a possibility.”
- Handily Handle on Charles Town Classic day was a shade over $3.9 million, down from last year’s roughly $4.4 million on the same day. The likely culprit: field size. Saturday’s 13-race card included a total of 93 horses, including two full starting gates of 10 each. Last year’s Classic featured 114 starters and six full fields.
- Handily 2.0 Laurel Park enjoyed a banner weekend at the windows, with Saturday’s card raking in about $3.91 million. That was up 59 percent from the 2016 Tesio day card. All told for the weekend, handle on the Maryland product topped $9.7 million.
- Lumber Teakwood romped to a four-length win in a PA-bred allowance Friday at Penn National and is off to a strong start to his career. The sophomore Orientate gelding is has never been out of the money in five starts, with a record of 5-2-1-2. Teakwood is trained by Bernie Houghton for owner James Eshelman.
- Who’s the man? The Man is the man! The Man, a five-year-old Ecclesiastic gelding trained by John Servis, didn’t break his maiden until his fourth career start, in March 2015. He didn’t race again until this past February — nearly a two-year break. On Sunday at Parx, he romped to a nine-length win in a PA-bred allowance, giving him four consecutive victories; his three straight since returning have come by a combined 16 lengths. Under Jorge Vargas, The Man stalked the pace for a half-mile before drawing away to complete the 6 1/2 furlong distance in a sharp 1:15.77.