Mid-Atlantic racing roundup, February 26, 2020
Here’s looking at you! Last Print wins the Gold Watch Overnight S. at Charles Town Races. 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:
- Maryland-bred veteran John Jones got his first win of the year on Saturday, taking a n/w3x allowance optional claiming race by a head. He got a good stalking trip, rating off early leader Smooth B, before moving up to contend nearing the half-mile point. As they turned for home, he put a half-length in front. However, he soon had to deal with a new rival, in Jefazo. The two battled down the stretch, but John Jones held his ground and won by going the distance in 1:36.71. A three-time stakes winner at Laurel, John Jones has now won twelve races in total, while earning more than $587,000. 35 of his 42 lifetime starts have come in Maryland. He’s owned by Matthew Schera, trained by Lacey Gaudet, and was ridden by Trevor McCarthy.
- McCarthy had himself a big weekend, putting up hat tricks on back-to-back days. On Friday, he scored in race 5 with Puttheglassdown, race 6 with It’s the Journey, and race 7 with Silent Fluidity. On Saturday, in addition to his win with John Jones, he won with Beyond the Victory and Miss Tap Dance. Overall, McCarthy won eight races last weekend, giving him a meet-leading 29 in total.
- In the trainer race, Claudio Gonzalez has run away from the pack, with 31 victories on the season. Kieron Magee is second with 13 wins, and three others are tied for third, with 12 each. One of those with 12, John Robb,teamed up with Xavier Perez twice on Sunday, winning with Stiva and with Seany P.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Saturday’s Gold Watch Stakes figured to be a showdown between Laurel shipper Dupree, who was the 7/5 favorite, and second choice Phonemyposseagain, an absolute speedster who was seeking his ninth win in a row. Both of them went down in defeat, however, as 9/2 Last Print came from behind to win it. Phonemyposseagain went out to the lead, and set a blazing opening quarter of 21.37 seconds. Meanwhile, Last Print sat six lengths off that fast fraction, and made a strong move on the turn when the leader gave way. He outkicked Dupree down the stretch, and crossed the wire 1 ½ lengths in front. The West Virginia-bred has now won eight times from fifteen starts, and picked up his first stakes triumph with that victory. Carlos Delgado was in the saddle for owner/trainer Javier Contreras.
- West Virginia-bred three-year-old filly Manarola improved to 2-for-2 on the year Friday night, as she won a state-bred allowance race by 1 ½ lengths. After sitting in mid-pack early on in the 4 ½ furlong contest, she moved three-wide on the turn and drew off from there, going the distance in 53.09 seconds. Delgado and Contreras also teamed up for this one.
- You can’t have a better start than Denis Araujo had on Wednesday night, as he won the first three races on the program. He took the first race with Woodburn Hall, race 2 with Potential Grizzly, and the 3rd race with Baytown Vi Vi. Thanks in part to his big night, Araujo has pulled ahead of Arnaldo Bocachica in the rider standings, 32-28.
- Jeff Runco is still tops among trainers, with 16 wins, but Ronney Brown’s four wins this week have him hot on the heels, with 15 victories of his own.
- Zoomer lived up to his name in Monday afternoon’s feature, closing from nine lengths back to win a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race going away. Well behind in the early stages of the 6 ½ furlong contest, he rallied three-wide on the turn. Still six lengths back at the quarter-mile pole, he continued to accelerate in the stretch, as early leaders Teak and South Sea gave way. In the end, Zoomer coasted under the wire 2 ½ lengths in front, going the distance in 1:17.82. He’s now won two times on the year from three starts, for owners John Kernan and M-Z Racing Partnership and trainer Marcos Zulueta. Frankie Pennington was in the saddle.
- Tuesday’s feature saw a 7/1 upset, with Lucky Hero taking them all the way on the front end. He got involved in an early tussle from the inside post, going the opening quarter in a swift 22.16 seconds. Despite the fast tempo, he dismissed his dueling rival and pulled away to a clear lead in the stretch. He crossed the wire 3 ½ lengths in front, going the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:19.19. This was his second straight win, after taking a n/w2L claimer on February 4. Kyle Frey was the winning jockey, for owner Barbara Geraghty and trainer Armand Correnti.
- Mychel Sanchez leads the jockey race, with 23 victories. Frankie Pennington had back-to-back two-win days on Monday and Tuesday, moving him into second place with 17 total wins.
- Jamie Ness has moved into the lead in the trainer standings, with 18 wins. He had four wins on the week, including a training double on Monday.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Saturday’s Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes has attracted seven graded winners, including G1 winner Maracuja and Black-Eyed Susan winner Army Wife.
Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby has drawn a field of nine, headed by Kentucky Derby winner (maybe?) Medina Spirit.
Bold Leader had a troubled trip and ran into a buzzsaw at first asking. That set the Mike Trombetta up to graduate Sunday in his second start.
With her score in Saturday’s Weathervane Stakes, Hello Beautiful also moved to the top of the MATCH Series standings, one of four top contenders in action.
Fancy Her Up dominated the Rachel’s Turn Stakes in fast time on a Charles Town card where veteran Hypothesis and Run to Daylight also won stakes.
Steve Asmussen and Feargal Lynch teamed up to win Saturday’s G3 De Francis Dash, their second win in the race in four years.