Midlantic racing roundup: Week ending April 22

by | Apr 23, 2018 | Breaking, Racing, Regionwide

Raging Smoke grabbed the lead early en route to 2016 Sugar Maple win at Charles Town. Photo by The Racing Biz.

At Charles Town…

  • For the first time in five months, Runnin’toluvya faced the starter April 19, and the Fiber Sonde gelding delivered a two-length victory in a state-bred allowance test at Charles Town Races. The Tim Grams trainee took three tries last year, as a juvenile, to break his maiden but followed that up immediately with a length score in the $75,000 Vincent Moscarelli Memorial on West Virginia Breeders Classics night. He’d last raced in the James F. Lewis, III Stakes at Laurel Park, in which he finished ninth, but Thursday at Charles Town, with Oscar Flores in the irons, Runnin’toluvya rallied from fourth to win going away. Owned and trained by Tim Grams, Runnin’toluvya now has three wins from six starts and earnings of $66,946.
  • See Ya Manana was the 5-2 second choice in a field of seven West Virginia-bred allowance fillies and mares April 18, but by race’s end, there was no question she was best. The Jeff Runco trainee, owned by Huntertown Farm LLC, romped to a seven-length win in 1:27.33 for seven furlongs. Under Arnaldo Bocachica, she grabbed the lead early and never looked back en route to winning handily. The daughter of Creative Cause, bred by Heinz Joseph Steinmann, now has three wins from six starts with earnings of $50,815.
  • On the day of the first running of the Dance to Bristol Stakes (renamed from the Sugar Maple), Dance to Bristol’s owners — David and Susan Wantz’s Copperville Farm — debuted a promising youngster. West Virginia-bred Shakethenickelbush, a Tizway colt they purchased for $20,000 out of the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale, scored in a state-bred maiden special weight test by over three lengths, stopping the timer in 1:21.33 for 6 1/2 furlongs. Shakethenickelbush is trained by Jeff Runco.

At Laurel Park…

  • After an eighth-place finish in her career debut, three-year-old Bay of Cats didn’t seem likely to turn into much. But after winning a Maryland-bred allowance April 20, the Hunters Bay filly now has been first or second in six consecutive races. With apprentice Weston Hamilton up, Bay of Cats was a determined neck winner over Deep Red after going off as the 9-5 favorite. She is trained by Dale Capuano for Neil Glasser and was bred in Maryland by Roland Farm and Adena Springs. It was her fourth career win and pushed her earnings to $97,254.
  • In fact, it was a pretty good weekend for Maryland-breds trained by Capuano and ridden by Hamilton. A day later, the duo teamed up again, with Zorally winning a waiver-maiden claiming event by almost eight lengths in a sharp 1:03.39 for 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast main track. Owned by her breeder, Steven Newby, the Maryland-bred Zorally was the 5-2 third choice in the field of eight. The three-year-old is a daughter of Wiseman’s Ferry.


  • The record will show it as a seventh-place finish, but make no mistake: Forced has some talent. The three-year-old Take Charge Indy gelding was disqualified and placed last in a Parx Racing allowance race April 21 after breaking outward and impeding most of his rivals. That took away what would have been an eight-length victory for the Miguel Vera trainee, who is owned by Newtown Anner Stud and was ridden by Edwin Rivera. Forced won by almost four lengths at first asking at Tampa Bay Downs and here would have run his record to two-for-two after completing the six furlongs in 1:12.50. He was 3-1 at post time in this event and will likely be a lot shorter next time.
  • Longshot Sargent Suds made some folks pretty happy when he won at first asking at Penn National April 21, returning $25.80 on a two-dollar win wager. Under jockey Jackie Davis, the Pennsylvania-bred Redeemed gelding dueled throughout the 5 1/2-furlong test with 3-5 favorite Lucky Lucky Liam before inching clear to win by three parts of a length in 1:05.98. Sargent Suds is trained by Marlin Miller for Arakas Stables and was bred by Allen Bonnell and Sandra Bonnell.

Jockeys and trainers

  • The Jeff Runco show continues at Charles Town. The veteran conditioner won seven times from 23 starters last week; no other local conditioner won more than twice. He now has 41 wins, 16 more than second-place Ronney Brown.
  • Jockey Arnaldo Bocachica also enjoyed a productive racing week at CT, winning with six of 19 starters. That gave him 40 wins at the meet and allowed him to take a one-win lead over Christian Hiraldo, who has 39 victories. Gerald Almodovar is just behind them with 38.
  • At Laurel Park apprentice rider Weston Hamilton continued to find success, winning with five of 17 mounts on the week. He now trails meet leader Jorge Vargas, Jr. by just two in the win column; Vargas has 44 wins to Hamilton’s 42.
  • It was a five-win week at Penn National for jockey Julio Hernandez, who now owns a 47-42 wins advantage over second-place Angel Rodriguez. No other rider there has more than 26 victories.