Mid-Atlantic racing roundup, March 18, 2020
Lebda winning the Private Terms. Photo Maryland Jockey Club.
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:
- Friday’s card, the first one held without fans on-track, was highlighted by a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares. Reflect got the job done, leading every step of the way. She coasted under the wire 1 ½ lengths in front, to get her second win of the year. She’s owned by SF Racing LLC, trained by Jeremiah O’Dwyer, and ridden by Jevian Toledo.
- Trainer Kelly Rubley and jockey Julian Pimentel couldn’t get a stakes win with Alwaysmining on Saturday, but they didn’t leave empty-handed. Arrifana made her 4-year-old debut a winning one in the Nellie Morse Stakes, prevailing in a long stretch duel over Horologist. Sent off as the 3-5 choice, she rated near the back early on, before making what looked like a convincing move on the final turn. Horologist, who pressed the pace early, had the jump on Arrifana, and would not concede in the stretch. The two battled for the entire quarter-mile stretch run, but Arrifana got her nose down for the first stakes win of her brief career. They finished 9 ½ lengths clear of third-place Needs Supervision. The winner is owned by Gainesway Stable, LNJ Foxwoods, and Millennium Farms.
- Leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez swept both three-year-old stakes, as Princess Cadey won the Beyond the Wire Stakes by seven lengths, and Lebda took the Private Terms Stakes by 4 ¼ lengths. Gonzalez has 40 winners on the meet, through 134 starters.
- Trevor McCarthy’s 38 victories on the meet have him on top of the jockey standings. Alex Cintron is holding onto second with 26 wins, but Charlie Marquez, who won three races on Sunday, is rapidly climbing the ladder. He’s now in third place, just two wins behind Cintron.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Wednesday was a banner night for one winning bettor, who scooped the “6-12” jackpot pick 6 pool for $82,835.64. The keys to the sequence were race 5, where 15/1 Return to Denis upset 4-5 Charitable Rose, and the 6th race, won by 20/1 Anazara over 3-5 Halfway. The win by 6/5 Golden Desire in race 8 clinched the massive payoff.
- It’s no secret that Denis Araujo has been riding well this winter, but he took it up a notch on Friday, with a four-win night. He won race 1 with 4/1 Luc d’Vermont, followed by race 4 with 6/5 Golden Appeal. Araujo completed the hat trick in the 7th race aboard 1-2 Caladan, and wrapped up the grand slam with 4-5 Alphastest.
- The national sports shutdown this weekend played right into Charles Town’s hands. Saturday’s handle of $1,961,597 was a year-high mark, and more than a $500,000 increase over last Saturday.
- Araujo has now pulled well clear of Arnaldo Bocachica in the jockey race, leading 45 to 39. These two are far ahead of J.D. Acosta, who is in third with 21.Jeff Runco remains slightly ahead of Ronney Brown in the trainer standings, 26 to 23. Runco and Brown each had two winners on the week.
- Both Parx Racing and Penn National have now canceled live racing during the coronavirus emergency. Penn National did run last weekend, while Parx did not.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Maryland shippers Bright Dawn and Twirling Owen swept the weekend’s WV-bred 3-year-old stakes at Charles Town Races.
Though there’s been no Maryland racing in two months, trainer Claudio Gonzalez has kept stakes winners Lebda and Princess Cadey home.
Charles Town returns to action with full fields and the return of local star Parisian Diva, who makes her season debut on Friday.
With a stunning 46-1 upset in the Oaklawn Stakes earlier this month, lightly regarded Mr. Big News made headlines himself and earned a spot in the Preakness.
Glorious Empire, the Chuck Lawrence-trained, Fair Hill-based runner who was a finalist for the top turf horse of 2018, has been retired.
The MATCH Series, a regionwide series of stakes races in its third year back after a long hiatus, will not take place in 2020.