Mid-Atlantic racing roundup, December 11
- Its a Journey cruised to a coast-to-coast victory in Friday’s feature, a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race at one mile. Horacio Karamanos put her on the early lead, and slowed things down to the tune of a 24.92 first quarter. Longshot Elevated Vision gave her a challenge as the field turned for home, but Its a Journey had plenty left in the tank and drew off to a three-length win. This was the second win of the year for the Pennsylvania-bred mare, who was third in the 2016 Weber City Miss Stakes over this track. She’s owned by Gap View Stables Inc. and trained by Jamie Ness.
- In addition to his win with Anna’s Bandit on Saturday, Xaiver Perez picked up a win in a n/w2x allowance optional claiming with Onemoregreattime, upsetting favored Cozy Lover. The winner enjoyed a great trip stalking the pace, while Cozy Lover and Smokin Nitro dueled themselves to oblivion. Onemoregreattime moved to the lead in the stretch and drew off to a convincing 4 ¼-length win. He won for the second time at the fall meet, having taken an allowance race back on September 21. He’s owned by Clover Hill Farm and Clover Hill Racing and trained by John Robb.
- It’s a three-jockey battle in the standings with a few weeks left in the fall/winter season. Sheldon Russell has the lead, with 39 wins, but Alex Cintron, with 38, and Trevor McCarthy, with 37, are nipping at his heels.
- Click here for a recap of Laurel Park’s two stakes for older horses, and here for a recap of the two juvenile stakes.
- The trainer standings do not have as much drama, as Claudio Gonzalez’s 39 wins have him well clear of the pack.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Amelia Bedelia impressed on Wednesday, winning an allowance race for her second straight win. Sent off as the 2-5 favorite, she stalked the pace early on, then effortlessly moved to the lead and drew away to a 3 ¼-length win. She went the seven furlongs in 1:27.84. She’s won five races in her ten-race career, and has placed in stakes company twice. Arnaldo Bocachica had the mount for trainer Jeff Runco and owner David Raim.
- Remy’s Rocket extended her winning streak to four in a row, winning Thursday’s feature by a length. She had to come from off the pace to do it, but made up three lengths in the last eighth for the victory, going 4 ½ furlongs in 52.83. Christian Hiraldo rode her to victory for Tim Grams.
- Two races prior to Remy’s Rocket’s win, two-year-old Nekia’s First Lady, a Florida-bred First Dude filly, made her career debut an eye-catching one when she obliterated a maiden special weight field by nearly nine lengths. Sent off at 10-1 in the field of 10, the Steve Epley, Jr. trainee led by a head after a quarter-mile and widened her advantage at every subsequent call. She got the 6 ½-furlong distance in 1:21.20 under rider Vince Halliday.
- Arnaldo Bocachica (176) and Jeff Runco (124) remain well in front in the trainer and jockey races, respectively. Bocachica has more than twice as many wins as his nearest pursuer, Christian Hiraldo, and is winning at a 33% clip.
- Mychel Sanchez turned a hat trick on Saturday’s card. He won the first race aboard heavy 1-5 favorite Morissette. He followed that up with a race 3 victory, guiding even-money favorite Amandasromeo first across the wire. Sanchez couldn’t polish it off while riding in the next three, but he got the job done in race 7, when 8-5 Gotta be Strong crushed a Pennsylvania-bred allowance field by 5 ¾ lengths.
- Splicethemainbrace had to fight for it, but he won the Monday feature, a n/w1x allowance at six furlongs, gate-to-wire. Frankie Pennington sent the 4-5 favorite to the lead, where he was pressed all the way. He opened up a clear advantage at the eighth pole, but had to hold off the late rally of the hard-trying Lazurus Project to seal the deal. The wire came in time for Splicethemainbrace, who won by half a length in 1:11.01. He’s trained by Robert Reid and owned by Swilcan Stable LLC and LC Racing.
- Click here for a recap of the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes.
- Pennington is holding off Sanchez for the time being in the jockey’s race, 141-139. Joseph Taylor paces the trainer race with 95 victories.
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