Mint Mission stunner, Derby trail runner, Unique Bella babe: The week in social media
Unique Bella. Photo courtesy Santa Anita Park.
A major upset took place in the Mint Mission Overnight Stakes at Charles Town Races, a Maryland-bred son of Imagining may embark on the Derby trail, and Pennsylvania-bred champion Unique Bella gave birth to her first foal.
Here is the 411 on what racing fans in the Mid-Atlantic region have been talking about on social media this past week:
Tasty Mint Mission!
The $35,000 Mint Mission Overnight Stakes was run this past Saturday at Charles Town Races, with the longest shot on the board having the last laugh in the eight-horse field.
Dismissed at odds of 45-1, Mean Bean took advantage of a frantic early pace in the 6 ½ furlong challenge, closing in on his tired competition to score by a half-length. After swift opening fractions of 22.85 seconds for the first quarter and 46.32 seconds for the first half, Mean Bean completed the race in a final time of 1:19.93 on the fast-main track. Thanks to his stunning upset, Mean Bean returned $93.40 to those who backed him with a $2 win bet.
Owned and trained by Glenn Harrison, Mean Bean was piloted by jockey Jason Simpson. Currently, the West Virginia-bred son of Garnered has visited the winner’s circle 9 times in 37 starts and has collected earnings of $232,998. The Mint Mission Overnight Stakes marks the first black-type victory of the gelding’s career, as well as the first stakes win for Glenn Harrison as a trainer.
— Race Charles Town (@RaceCharlesTown) January 12, 2020
Local fans have been buzzing with excitement, as it was announced that the recent winner of Laurel Park’s Heft Stakes, Monday Morning Qb, is likely to embark on the road to the Kentucky Derby.
Robert “Butch” Reid Jr., the trainer of Monday Morning Qb, announced that he might target the Grade 3 Withers Stakes on February 1 as his colt’s next start. Run at Aqueduct, the 1 1/8-mile Withers Stakes offers 10 points toward the Kentucky Derby to the winner of the race.
Owned by Cash is King LLC and LC Racing LLC, Monday Morning Qb is by freshman sire Imagining, who stands at Anchor and Hope Farm in Port Deposit, MD. Bred by Bowman & Higgins Stable & Cary Frommer, Monday Morning Qb was a $25,000 purchase from the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale back in 2018. To date, the Maryland-bred colt has scored two times in three starts and has banked earnings of $105,000.
Unique Bella’s a new mama
Pennsylvania-bred Unique Bella, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, gave birth to her first foal on Tuesday January 14, at Don Alberto Farm in Lexington, Ky.
Unique Bella’s first foal is a filly, who is by Darley America’s stud Medaglia d’Oro, who stands for a listed fee of $200,000. A sire of multiple champions, Medaglia d’Oro is best known for siring top fillies such as 2009 Horse of the Year and Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra, Eclipse Award winner and Breeders’ Cup Champion Songbird, and Canadian Horse of the Year Wonder Gadot.
Unique Bella, a six-year-old daughter of Tapit, was a winner of nine races from twelve starts on the track. The multiple Grade 1 winner retired with $1,272,400 in career earnings and took home the title of Champion Female Sprinter in 2017 and Champion Older Dirt Female in 2018.
During her time on the track, Unique Bella was conditioned by Jerry Hollendorfer and was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. The mare was campaigned by Don Alberto Stable, who continues to maintain ownership to this day.
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Prendimi was up the track in a Grade 3 last out, but if all goes to plan, that sets him up for Sunday’s Reilly Handicap for NJ-breds at Monmouth Park.
Threes Over Deuces surged late along the rail to win Laurel Park’s Independence Day featured allowance and push his earnings past $350,000.
Heavily favored Gufo had to work for it but rallied to win the Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park and set a track record in the process.
Project Whiskey, a Butch Reid trainee, pulled a 38-1 upset in Saturday’s Grade 3 Delaware Oaks, earning 50 points towards the Kentucky Oaks.
Returning from an eight-month layoff, Laki took advantage of a speed duel to rally to victory in Monmouth Park’s opening day feature.
Trainer Lacey Gaudet’s recent plans haven’t quite worked out for Long Point Beach, but a good outing in Saturday’s Delaware Oaks would solve that.