Midlantic racing roundup: Week ending April 8
At Charles Town…
- While Moonlit Song’s return to action this past week might have been the most important racing story at Charles Town this past week, probably the most popular — and quirkiest — was the April 6 debut of the equine twins Mr. Ping and Mr. Pong. The odds of twins both making it to the races are astronomical — oftentimes only one twin lives — and as it happened, these two not only made it to the racetrack but also made their debuts in the same race. The duo, both geldings, are West Virginia-breds by Denis of Cork out of the Domestic Dispute mare Washingtonian. The three-year-olds were bred and are owned by John P. Casey and are trained by Larry Curtis. Unfortunately, the good feelings didn’t quite extend to the actual race, a $12,500 maiden claimer; the duo finished last and next-to-last, just a half-length apart from each other while more than a half-dozen lengths behind the winner Addi’s Guy.
- First-time starter She’s Quiet made plenty of noise on that same April 6 card. In a $23,000 maiden special weight test going 4 1/2 furlongs, the three-year-old Tale of the Cat filly, a New York-bred, romped to a front-running score by almost 10 lengths in a sharp time of 52.09 seconds. With Antonio Lopez up, She’s Quiet blew here rivals away as the 9-10 post time favorite. She’s Quiet is trained by Jeffrey Allen for Mark Becraft.
- Hard-hitting veteran Riveter Gloria took a second-level allowance April 4, getting the 4 1/2 furlong distance in 52.89 seconds to post a two-and-a-quarter length victory under Jose Montano. Riveter Gloria now has eight wins and $185,600 in earnings from 37 career starts. She’s trained by Russell Davis for Gloria McCormick and Vicki O’Hara.
At Laurel Park…
- In an April 6 starter allowance, the creatively named Tipsy Moose ran like the 2-5 favorite he was, cruising home nearly three lengths clear of his rivals in 1:03.56 for 5 1/2 furlongs. With Edwin Gonzalez in the irons, Tipsy Moose stalked the early pace before going clear for the win. The Hugh McMahon trainee, a Pennsylvania-bred son of Friesan Fire owned by Pharm Boys LLC and Philmor Racing Stable LLC, won for the fourth consecutive outing. It was his seventh win, from 19 starts, overall and pushed his career earnings past $150,000.
- It wasn’t easy, but 7-5 favorite Brother Chub overcame Stolen Love to win a second-level allowance April 6. Under leading rider Jorge Vargas, Jr., Brother Chub, a New Jersey-bred Hey Chub gelding, stalked Stolen Love before prevailing by a head after a long battle. Brother Chub is trained by Michael Moore for Michael Day and Kasey K Racing Stable. He now has eight wins from 37 starts and $271,301 in career earnings. The win snapped a four-race streak of runner-up finishes for Brother Chub.
- So far, 2018 has been a good year for four-year-old Driven to Compete. The Pennsylvania-bred Overdriven gelding entered the season a maiden, but with a three-quarters length win April 3 at Parx Racing, he lodged his third victory of the campaign. Under Emmanuel Esquivel, the Todd Pletcher trainee made all the fractions and held a three-length advantage with a furlong to go before holding off the late close of Honor and Courage. Owned by Repole Stable, Driven to Compete was bred by Glenn Brok and Eico Stable. He now has three wins and $91,000 in earnings from five starts.
- Another horse enjoying 2018 is Jessica Krupnick. The Tres Abbott trainee romped to a three-and-a-half length win in a third-level allowance April 7 at Parx Racing for her second win from three starts this year. Sent off as the 9-5 favorite with Forest Boyce in the irons, Jessica Krupnick took over before a half-mile and then opened up a yawning, six-length lead before coming home as much the best. Running time for the 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:20.94. It was fourth win from 13 starts, and she now has $138,180 in earnings.
Jockeys and trainers
- During March, trainer Jeff Runco won 18 races at Charles Town, and the change of the calendar hasn’t slowed him down. He won with four of 10 starters during the track’s racing week and now has a seven-win advantage over Ronney Brown, his nearest pursuer, in the standings; he has 30 wins to Brown’s 23.
- Jockey Antonio Lopez made the most of limited opportunities at Charles Town during the week. The rider won with four of eight mounts, tying Christian Hiraldo for the weekly lead, though Hiraldo’s wins came from 16 mounts.
- Speaking of taking advantage of limited opportunities, trainer Lacey Gaudet and rider Julian Pimentel both did that in spades over the weekend at Laurel Park. Gaudet sent out three runners over the weekend and met all three back in the winner’s circle, while Pimentel won with four of seven mounts. Pimentel now has 20 wins at Laurel from just 99 starters.
- Jockey Edwin Rivera also thrived in limited action. He won with four of seven mounts at Parx Racing during the week and is eighth at the meet with 16 wins to date.