Midlantic racing roundup: Week ending Feb. 25
At Charles Town…
- The word was out on three-year-old Yes I Dance, and she delivered on February 21. The Yes It’s True filly, making her career debut, was the 8-5 favorite in a maiden special weight test, and she more than lived up to advance billing. Under jockey Arnaldo Bocachica, Yes I Dance won by over eight lengths in a sharp 53 seconds flat for 4 1/2 furlongs. She is trained by John Carlisle for Super C Racing, who purchased her for $17,000 out of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Mixed Sale this past December.
- A field of eight accomplished West Virginia-breds gathered for a $29,000 allowance going 6 1/2 furlongs February 22, and the Lewis Craig, Jr. trainee New Windsor proved best of all. New Windsor, with J. D. Acosta up, stalked the early pace, took over near the quarter pole and had just enough to hold off the late run of Mean Bean by a neck. The 2-1 favorite, New Windsor, a Windsor Castle gelding, covered the distance in 1:19.29. New Windsor, who is owned by his breeders Connie and Bradley Merrell, has won seven of 14 career starts and earned $126,534.
- Unlike Yes I Dance, the bettors didn’t expect much of anything out of Afar, who made her debut February 23. The Colorado-bred Colonel John filly went off at 23-1 but, under Oscar Flores, erased a four-length deficit in the last eighth of a mile to win by a head in 53.98 seconds for 4 1/2 furlongs. Afar is trained by Hubert Gaffney for Starfield Farm LLC.
At Laurel Park…
- Five-year-old Southside Warrior, the runner-up in last fall’s Maryland Million Classic, got his first win since August February 23, taking a second-level allowance by a length under Julian Pimentel. Southside Warrior, a Maryland-bred son of Warrior’s Reward, rated off a four-way pace battle before tipping out to the seven-path to rally, winning in 1:38.37 for the mile on a sloppy, sealed track. Southside Warrior, now with five wins and $254,521 purse earnings from 26 starts, is trained by Mike Trombetta for his breeder, Dark Hollow Farm, and R. Larry Johnson.
- Eastern Bay, a four-year-old, Maryland-bred E Dubai gelding trained by Ferris Allen, won for the third straight time on February 23, taking a six-furlong, second-level allowance by an easy 2 3/4 lengths. Under Elvis Trujillo, Eastern Bay slipped through inside and went on to win under a mild drive in 1:03.37 for 5 1/2 furlongs on a sloppy, sealed track. He is now four-for-four on off tracks and owns four wins and $136,557 purse earnings from 10 career starts.
- The speedy types cooked each other with contested early fractions in the second race on February 24, and that set it up for the late run of Colonel Sharp to win a third-level allowance test. Colonel Sharp, a Colonel John gelding, completed the seven furlongs over a sloppy, sealed track in 1:24.01. Under Feargal Lynch, the Hugh McMahon trainee bided his time in fourth for a half-mile before circling the turn to win by almost two lengths. He has four wins from 15 career starts and $123,164 in purse earnings.
- Believe in Luck didn’t win an allowance race as a two-year-old, a three-year-old, or a four-year-old. Now, as a five-year-old, the Afleet Alex gelding has won two allowance tests. On February 20 at Parx Racing, he swept to a five-length score under leading rider Frankie Pennington as the 6-5 favorite in a two-other-than test. Running time over an extremely dull muddy, sealed track was 1:39.64. The John Servis trainee now has five wins from 18 starts and over $175,000 in purse earnings.
- Three-year-old Keuka Roller overcame a bad break and a wide journey to win a Pennsylvania-bred maiden special weight test February 22 at Penn National. It was the first career start for the Shackleford gelding who is trained by Cal Lynch for his own Lynch Racing LLC and Emcee Stable LLC, the latter of which also bred him. Jorge Vargas, Jr. had the mount.
Jockeys and trainers
- At Charles Town trainer Ronney Brown continues to enjoy a productive 2018. Brown won with five of 12 starters over the weekend, and he now has a 10-win lead over his nearest competitor. Overall, Brown has won with 18 of 71 starters at CT — just over 25 percent.
- Jockey Feargal Lynch had a selective — but successful — weekend at Laurel Park. Lynch won with three of his six weekend mounts, including the first-ever winner for trainer Brittany Trimble. Lynch has 11 wins at the meet, good for seventh place, and is in fourth with over $444,000 in purse earnings.
- Jockey Johan Rosado struck five times during the week at Parx Racing, winning with five of 17 mounts. He is tied for second at the Bensalem oval, with 14 wins to date, and he’s in third with over $359,000 in purse earnings thus far.
- Trainer Tim Kreiser continues to dominate at Penn National. Kreiser won with four of the eight horses he sent out last weekend, and he’s hitting at nearly 40 percent in Grantville (24-for-61). His $341,000 in purse earnings are almost three times as many as his nearest competitor, and his 24 wins are 17 more than any other Penn trainer.