Mid-Atlantic racing roundup, March 4, 2020
Trainer Tres Abbott. Photo by Teresa Genaro.
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:
- Saturday’s feature race marked a milestone for trainer Tres Abbott, as Fort Peck became Abbott’s 100th winner. The 6/1 shot got a perfect trip stalking favored Forest Fire in the early stages of the 1 1/16 mile race, before making his move on the turn. He battled down the stretch with Tattooed, before prevailing by a head. So far on the year, Abbott has won three races from thirteen starts, and has saddled 714 starters since beginning his training career in 2010. Trevor McCarthy was aboard the winner.
- It was a long time between drinks for trainer Jack Kousin, but he returned to the winner’s circle in Sunday’s second race with maiden-breaker Fontaine. That marked Kousin’s first victory since April 8, 1986, when he sent Somerset Star to victory at Pimlico. Kousin returned to training in 2018 after a 32-year absence, and has sent out 19 starters since beginning his comeback.
- For more on Kousin, check out our 2019 feature on him.
- The final Thursday card of the winter meet saw Carol Cedeno get herself a riding hat trick. She won the third race in a runaway aboard Always a Queen, race 4 with Ummu Ummu Ummu, and race 7 with Over Sensual.
- With a month left in the winter meet, Trevor McCarthy has assumed a commanding edge in the jockey standings. His 32 victories have him in first place, 11 clear of runner-up Alex Cintron. Apprentice Charlie Marquez has been making some waves as of late; he’s moved into a tie for fifth place with 16 wins.
- Claudio Gonzalez has a lock on another training title, with 35 wins over the past two months. The title of runner-up remains in limbo. Mike Trombetta is second with 14 wins, with Kieron Magee, Jamie Ness, and John Robb all tied for third with 13 victories.
- Racing in March will be conducted on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Thursday racing resumes beginning on April 2.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Promising West Virginia-bred 3-year-old Muad’dib improved to 2-for-2 lifetime on Friday night, impressively winning a n/w3L allowance by 7 ¾ lengths. He got into an early battle for the lead with Whale of a Ride, before pulling clear at the half-mile pole and drawing off from there. He went the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:20.67. The Coin Collector Stakes, for WV-bred 3-year-olds on April 21, is likely on his radar. He’s A full-brother to graded stakes star Late Night Pow Wow and is owned by David Raim, trained by Jeff Runco, and ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.
- Later that night, Thesweetesttaboo won her second start in a row in allowance company at Charles Town. She took a n/w1x allowance/optional claiming affair by 7 ¾ lengths, going 6 ½ furlongs 1/100th of a second slower than Muad’dib. She rated three-wide off the leaders, then moved on the turn and drew off from there. Bernard Dunham is the winning trainer and co-owner, along with KCMH Racing LLC, J.D. Acosta was in the saddle.
- Sound Off came back from Laurel and into the Charles Town winner’s circle on Saturday night, as he won a $32,000 allowance by six lengths. Four lengths off an honest early pace, he moved three-wide on the turn and pulled away for a strong six-length victory. He’s now won two races in a row over the bullring track. He’s owned and trained by Michael Sandoval, and was ridden by Yomar Ortiz.
- Arnaldo Bocachica has wrestled control of the jockey race away from upstart Denis Araujo. A seven-win week has Bocachica on top of Arujo, 35-34. J.D. Acosta, with 18 victories, is a distant third.
- Jeff Runco and Ronney Brown remain in a tight battle atop the trainer standings. Runco leads with 21 wins, but Brown is right behind with 19. No one else has more than nine victories.
- Luvinmeiseasy extended his winning streak to four in a row on Monday, as he took a starter allowance by five lengths. Sent off as the 1-5 choice, he dueled with Try Flying in the early stages of the 1 1/8 mile contest, and remained heads apart with his rival around the final turn. In the stretch, Luvinmeiseasy pulled clear and won going away. He’s won eight of his last ten races, with all but one of those starts coming at Parx. He’s owned by Albert Lupcho, trained by Marcos Zulueta, and was ridden by Frankie Pennington.
- That win on Luvinmeiseasy was one of three for Pennington on the Monday card. He rounded out his hat trick aboard Indy’s Jewel in the 5th race and You Must Chill in race 6.
- Tuesday’s featured event went to Whistling Birds, who easily beat a n/w2x allowance optional claiming field by nine lengths. After an awkward beginning, he rated three-wide most of the way, before challenging Dirt in Your Face for the lead on the final turn. He pulled away from there, going the mile in 1:41.70 over a sealed track. Bran Jam Stables and David Clark co-own the winner, Louis Linder trains, and Mychel Sanchez was in the saddle.
- Sanchez has pulled ahead of Pennington in the jockey standings, with 26 wins to Pennington’s 22. Angel Rodriguez is in third, with 19 victories.
- Despite 32 fewer starts, Jamie Ness is one clear of Joseph Taylor in the training race, 19-18. Ness has won with 19 of 60 (32%) starters over the strip.
LATEST RACING NEWS
In the first Top Midlantic-bred Poll of 2020, it’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Knicks Go, one of 7 Maryland-breds, who zooms to the head of the class.
Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
The fatal injury last week of Charles Town sprinter Dr. Feelgood left trainer Crystal Pickett and jockey Darius Thorpe saddened, and reflective.
Over the weekend, trainer Flint Stites recorded the 2,000th victory of his career, while Hugh McMahon notched win number 1,000.
Half of the eight races on Laurel Park’s Sunday card are restricted to two-year-olds, including an allowance contest and a maiden special weight.
Laurel Park will host six stakes November 28, and those have drawn more than 150 nominations, including 29 to the Safely Kept and Whiteley Stakes.