Mid-Atlantic racing roundup, December 4
Angle of Attack (outside) narrowly defeated Boundtobebad to win the Eleanor Casey Memorial Stakes. Photo by Coady Photography.
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:
- Laurel held four stakes on Saturday, with Honest Mischief, Vault, Sunny Ridge, and Needs Supervision getting the money. For a full stakes wrapup, click here.
- Trevor McCarthy won two of the four added-money events and, after an early-season slump, has been getting hot lately. He won seven races this week, putting him in a tie for second place with Sheldon Russell with 35 wins apiece. Alex Cintron remains in front of them all going into the last month of the season, with 37 victories.
- The Mike Trombetta-trained Let’s Play Nine made quite an impression on debut on the Thanksgiving Day card. With McCarthy up, the sophomore Super Ninety Nine gelding zoomed right to the lead and never looked back, taking the $40,000 waiver-maiden claiming event by over 10 lengths in a solid 1:10.77 for six furlongs on a fast main track. Owned by Country Life Farm, he’s a Maryland-bred out of the Arch mare Arch Enemy and was bred by Barak Farm.
- Four wins for Claudio Gonzalez keep him in first place in the trainer race, with 36 wins. Mike Trombetta’s 20 scores have him in a comfortable second. Gonzalez has 36 wins from 110 starters, a 33% win rate.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Arnaldo Bocachica won four races in a row on Saturday night, and capped off his big night with a win in the Eleanor Casey Stakes aboard Angle of Attack. She got a great trip, rating off heavy 1-5 favorite Boundtobebad. At the half-mile point, Angle of Attack drew up alongside the favorite, but had to work the entire stretch to get by. Ultimately, Angle of Attack won by a head, covering the seven furlongs in 1:27.99. The winner is owned by Coleswood Farm, and trained by Jeff Runco.
- Runco teamed up with Bocachica on two other winners on the card, prevailing with Aaron’s Tap in race 5 and Paint it Green in race 6. Bocachica’s other win came with Kevin Patterson’s Sangria Sweet in race 4.
- Bocachica turned a hat trick on the Thanksgiving night program. That triple included an impressive win with two-year-old firster Stowe Angel in a state-bred maiden special weight. The Warrior’s Reward filly, trained by Runco for David Raim, pressed the pace for the opening quarter-mile before taking over and drawing away to win by six lengths as the 2-5 post time favorite. She zipped the 4 ½-furlong distance in 53.08 seconds — nearly as fast the speedy Twirling Owen (also with Bocachica up) managed it one race prior.
- Patterson’s win with Sangria Sweet was his ninth in his last 14 starts at Charles Town since October 1. He is 43-for-83 this year at CT, an absurd 52% strike rate.
- Parx had a five-day race week, racing on the day after Thanksgiving, in addition to the usual Saturday-Tuesday set.
- Jump for Alex won a three-horse photo finish in Tuesday’s feature, a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race at one mile. He was perched in third place on the turn, then continued to sit behind battlers Ruby Bleu and The Right Path turning for home. While those two maintained their fight down the stretch, Mychel Sanchez was urging his mount for everything he had. Jump for Alex got there in the last jump, winning by a nose in 1:40.04. Ruby Bleu edged The Right Path for second. The Pennsylvania-bred Jump for Alex is trained by Guadalupe Preciado for Robert M. Stone.
- One bettor had a very good Sunday afternoon, as the late pick 4 pool was scooped by one winning ticket for $9,739.40. The sequence was capped off by a 38/1 upset by Caniform, who won race 8 over 6/5 second choice Fox Red by ¾ of a length. Three odds-on favorites lost in the sequence, though only the finale went to a true longshot.
- Frankie Pennington’s four wins on the racing week keep him ahead of Mychel Sanchez for the top spot in the standings, 139-133.
- Joseph Taylor continues to hold a commanding advantage in the trainer standings, with 95 wins. Scott Lake is in second, with 69 victories.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Fresh off a six-win season, Sherwood Lady started 2020 in style with a front-running score in Charles Town’s White Alley Stakes.
Two longtime owners enjoyed their first stakes wins Saturday at Laurel Park, as Artful Splatter and Honor the Fleet upset the Geisha and Fire Plug Stakes.
Alwaysmining, the top Maryland three-year-old of 2019, rediscovered his winning ways with a solid triumph in the Jennings Stakes at Laurel Park.
There are four stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday and a fifth at Charles Town, and we have five questions for the weekend’s Midlantic stakes action.
Still Having Fun, a Grade 2 winner, will make the second start of his comeback in Saturday’s Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel Park.
Eight-year-old John Jones will aim for his third Jennings Stakes title Saturday at Laurel Park against a field including 2019 Preakness runner Alwaysmining.