Carolina Gold romps in opening day feature at Timonium
by Frank Vespe
Scratches left just five horses in Friday’s featured allowance contest on opening day at Timonium. And that left the race at the mercy of Carolina Gold.
The Kevin Patterson trainee, sent off at 4-5 odds in the optional claiming event, which featured a purse of $36,000, romped to a six-length victory in a sharp time of 45.02 seconds.
It was the seventh win of the five-year-old’s career and pushed her earnings past $100,000.
“I’ve been on her for a long time, probably for the past year year,” said jockey Gerald Almodovar. “I get along with her pretty good. She’s really fast, so four furlongs hit her right on the spot.”
Bohemian Bliss was away a bit faster than Carolina Gold, and Almodovar steered his mount up and outside that rival. After a quarter mile in 22.08 seconds, those two were heads apart, but soon thereafter, Carolina Gold took charge and widened her margin to the finish.
“I knew the 8 had a little bit more speed early, so I just kinda let the 8 go, and then I made my move at the quarter pole,” he explained.
Almodovar, based at Charles Town, won two on the day, and J. D. Acosta, who also for many years called CT home, won three.
Charles Town, like Timonium, is a bullring track. That’s an advantage, Almodovar said.
“Trainers know I ride at Charles Town, so they know I ride on a small track, so they give me an opportunity to ride here and I take advantage of it,” the jock said. “You’re used to riding on tight turns so it gives you a little bit of an edge.”
TIMONIUM NOTES Saturday’s feature at the Big T is the first running of the $75,000 Coalition Stakes, the first stakes race at the track in nine years… Post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m… Thoroughbred 101, a free interactive learning experience for racing newcomers, takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., starting at the Grandstand Grille…