Mid-Atlantic racing roundup, January 9, 2020
Jockey Xavier Perez has won four races thus far in 2019 for trainer Jerry Robb (not pictured). Photo by Dottie Miller.
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:
- Maryland mainstay Hamilton Smith is closing in on 2,000 career training wins. He got win 1,999 in Saturday’s seventh race, with Bye Bye Bertie. He had two chances to get the milestone on Sunday, but finished sixth and second, respectively. Smith has three horses between the Thursday and Friday cards, as he continues his bid for the milestone.
- The trainer/jockey combo of John Robb and Xavier Perez has been on fire lately, with nine wins in their last eighteen starts together. They had two winners together on Friday, with Castle Ridge in race 1 and Onemoregreattime in race 6. Sunday, they won another pair, with Bigdaddysglory in race 3 and Courtesy Shuffle in the 6th race. All four of Perez’s wins so far this year have come aboard a Robb horse, and all four of Robb’s wins — from just seven starters — have come with Perez up.
- Katie Davis returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in a long time on Friday, winning the eighth race with Shak’s Hidden Gem. Davis was out for three months following a spill at Parx on September 30. Friday’s win marked her first trip to the winner’s circle since September 20. For good measure, she added another win the enxt day, taking Saturday’s 4th with Elevated Forever.
- The leading jockey of the fall meet, Trevor McCarthy, picked up right where he left off opening week, with seven wins. He pulled a hat trick on Saturday’s card, taking the 3rd with Souper Highvoltage, race 6 aboard Run for James, and the 7th with Bye Bye Bertie.
- Robb leads all trainers with four wins. Jamie Ness is second, with 3 victories. Claudio Gonzalez, the fall meet’s leading trainer, was just 1-for-12 opening week.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Charles Town concluded its 2019 season December 21. The track’s next scheduled day of live racing is January 8.
- Dreams Untold had about an impressive a 3-year-old debut as you could hope for on Saturday, as he broke his maiden by 14 ¼ lengths. He went the 6 ½ furlongs over the sloppy going in 1:17.16. He’s a son of Smarty Jones, who has that runner’s same connections: breeder Pat Chapman and her Someday Farm as owner, with trainer John Servis.Kyle Frey was in the saddle for the victory.
- The nine-day layoff was no trouble for Mess’n Around, who won Monday’s featured n/w3x allowance optional claiming race by a nose over Doctorsofmischief. The latter set the pace and opened up a clear advantage in the stretch, appearing to be home free. However, her strides started to shorten late, and Mess’n Around got up by a nose over the 31/1 shot. The winner is owned by Mason Dixon Stables, trained by Tim Kreiser, and was ridden by Edwin Gonzalez.
- Mychel Sanchez had the best opening week of the jockey colony, winning four races from nineteen mounts. Kyle Frey, Dexter Haddock, and Angel Castillo all have three wins each.
- Last year’s leading trainer, Joseph Taylor, had a good start to the year, with a meet-leading three wins. Claudio Gonzalez and John Servis, with two victories apiece, were the only others with multiple winners.
LATEST RACING NEWS
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.
Anna’s Bandit, winner of six straight, will look to run her streak to seven as the odds-on choice in Saturday’s Geisha Stakes at Laurel Park.
When Hamilton Smith won his 2,000th recently, we wondered: which Maryland trainers have the most wins, and which are closest to career milestones?
Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
The MATCH Series returns for 2020 with two new tracks — Charles Town and Colonial Downs — included in the mix.