Mid-Atlantic racing roundup, November 20
File photo of Grasshoppin by Barbara Weidl/EQUI-PHOTO.
Plenty of racing action took place throughout the Mid-Atlantic this past week.
Here’s your five-minute read to get caught up on all of it:
- Off an impressive allowance win on November 2, Warm was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in Friday’s feature, a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares. She was a flat fourth, while Beach Diva wired the field in a 5 ½-length romp. This was the first win of the year in six starts for the Arnaud Delacour-trained filly, who was ridden to victory by Sheldon Russell.
- Benintendi had a real “home run” of a debut on Saturday, winning by 8 ¾ lengths. Sheldon Russell put the gelding on a clear early lead in the 5 ½-furlong affair, who then pulled away on the turn and never looked back, covering the distance in 1:04.17. He’s owned by Ten Strike Racing, Makadet Stables, and Master 2013 LLC, and trained by Brittany Russell.
- Claudio Gonzalez, per usual, had a big week. On Thursday, he sent out an impressive first-time starter, in Mine Not Mine. Bet down to 6-5 favoritism, he was well behind in the early stages, before making a swooping five-wide rally and winning the mile affair by ¾ of a length. Gonzalez said after the race that the Golden Lad colt’s next start may be in the Maryland Juvenile Futurity on December 7.
- Gonzalez turned a hat trick on Sunday afternoon. He took the opener with 1-5 favorite Baptize the Boy, then won the featured sixth race with Articulator. Gonzalez sent out Charles Town shipper Cozy Lover in race 8 to complete the triple.
- Not to be outdone, Alex Cintron had a riding hat trick the same day. He won race 4 aboard Takechargmatriarch, race 7 with sharp maiden winner Princess Adira, and teamed up with Gonzalez on Cozy Lover in the 8th race.
- Cintron’s big day on Sunday tied him with Russell for the lead in the jockey standings, with 31 wins each. Trevor McCarthy, the leading jockey at last year’s fall meet, has fallen seven wins behind the pacesetters.
- Gonzalez has begun to pull away in the trainer standings, with 29 wins to his credit. He’s 11 clear of runner-up Mike Trombetta.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Chiefs Kingdom began the racing week on an impressive note, winning the first race on Wednesday night by 5 ½ lengths to run her win streak to three in a row. Sent off as the 1/9 favorite breaking from post position one, she encountered early pressure, before drawing off in the stretch. She’s owned by David Bloom, trained by Javier Contreras, and ridden by Sunday Diaz.
- After a big summer at Monmouth Park at which she went four-for-four, She’s So Shea D came to Charles Town on Wednesday and easily won a n/w1x allowance. She got a great trip in a 4 ½ furlong race, rating off loose leader Overhear. Once that rival tired, She’s So Shea D pounced, and drew off to victory. Kevin Patterson trains the winner for Moshe Mark, with Arnaldo Bocachica in the saddle. That was her fifth win in her last six races.
- Despite a sequence in which odds-on favorites won twice, Friday’s early Pick 4 resulted in a payoff of $244.80 for a one-dollar wager. Lil Miss Fiber won the first race at 1-5 odds, while 4-5 choice No More Talk took the third. They were joined in the sequence by 15-1 Miss Simon and 5-2 Ice Kaufy. The pick 3 began in race 2, and included 15/1 Miss Simon in race 2, 4-5 No More Talk in race 3, and 5-2 Ice Kaufy in race 4. That sequence paid $255.30 for a buck.
- Arnaldo Bocachica had six wins during the week, keeping him in first place in the jockey standings with 158 scores. Jeff Runco is in first place in the training race, with 112 victories.
- Frankie Pennington turned a hat trick on Saturday’s card. He took the fourth race with Thundershook, followed by a win in race 5 with Monday Morning Qb. He completed the triple in the featured eighth race, as he guided Shemakesmehappy to a win in a Pennsylvania-bred allowance.
- Pennsylvania-bred veteran Grasshoppin finally got on the board in 2019, winning a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race on Monday afternoon. Sitting midpack early in the one-mile affair, he looked beaten turning for home, five lengths off the lead inside the eighth pole. In the final strides, however, Grasshoppin got going, and got up to win by a head over DT Goodie. This was Grasshoppin’s eleventh career win, and pushed his earnings to more than $665,000. He’s owned by Michael Jester, trained by Richard Vega, and was ridden by Angel Castillo.
- Pennington has a two-win lead over Mychel Sanchez in the jockey standings, 131-129. Trainer Joseph Taylor did not win a race this week, but is still in front in the trainer race, with 87 scores to his credit.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
The fatal injury last week of Charles Town sprinter Dr. Feelgood left trainer Crystal Pickett and jockey Darius Thorpe saddened, and reflective.
Over the weekend, trainer Flint Stites recorded the 2,000th victory of his career, while Hugh McMahon notched win number 1,000.
Half of the eight races on Laurel Park’s Sunday card are restricted to two-year-olds, including an allowance contest and a maiden special weight.
Laurel Park will host six stakes November 28, and those have drawn more than 150 nominations, including 29 to the Safely Kept and Whiteley Stakes.
Karan’s Notion, upset winner of the Maryland Million Sprint last month, was easily best in an allowance at Laurel Park Thursday in his first start since.