Mid-Atlantic racing roundup, July 21
Adventist won the Greenwood Cup. Photo by Bill Denver /EQUI-PHOTO.
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:
- FIRST STAR: FIYA. This Maryland-bred 3-year-old proved that his impressive maiden win was no fluke on Friday afternoon, as he smoked a n/w1x Maryland-bred allowance field by 3 1/2 lengths. He got into an early speed duel with Brooks Robinson, blazing the opening quarter over the grass in 21.75 seconds. While his rival rapidly gave way, Fiya only got stronger as the race got longer, rolling down the stretch to an easy win. His final time of 1:00.99 for 5 1/2 furlongs is just 0.46 seconds off the track record. He’s owned by the Orebanks and trained by Michael Merryman. Look for him to move onto bigger and better things.
- SECOND STAR: FEARGAL LYNCH. Lynch has been running hot all meet, and this week was no exception. On Friday, he scored a natural hat trick in the last three races. He won aboard Fiya in race 8, followed by scores aboard Saintly Samurai in race 9 and race 10 with Lagom. He’s currently in fifth place in the rider standings, with 12 victories. The out-of-commission Sheldon Russell leads the way with 20 wins.
- THIRD STAR: COMPLETED PASS. A bet on this Indiana-bred gelding Saturday afternoon was a bet on if he could leave the gate. He was a rocket ship last year, winning the Jim McKay Turf Sprint and finishing second in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup. Unfortunately for him, towards last year, he completely lost the ability to break. As such, bettors were a bit wary, and made him 7/2. Fortunately for those who believed, he broke cleanly, went to the lead, and held on to win a n/w2x allowance optional claiming contest by 2 1/2 lengths. Angel Cruz was in the saddle for the owner/trainer dream team of Robert Bone and Claudio Gonzalez. Gonzalez is on top of the trainer standings, with 10 wins so far.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: HAY BABY GIRL. This mare has made herself at home at Charles Town this year. She won for the third time in a row on Friday night, taking a n/w1x allowance by a nose. Sent off as the 3/1 second choice in the 1 1/16 miles affair, she was rated just off the early pace by Arnaldo Bocachica, then made her move on the final turn. She got clear nearing the wire, but deep closer Dubai Was Lit made things interesting in the final strides, closing from far out of it to get in the photo. Ultimately, the camera revealed Hay Baby Girl did hold on for the victory. The winner was ridden by leading jockey Arnaldo Bocachica, for trainer Anthony Farrior, who co-owns with Derrick Goetz.
- SECOND STAR: GIO DUDE. He made it two wins in a row on Thursday night, as he scored in a salty starter allowance race. He stalked the pace early on in the 1 1/16 mile race, then responded when asked on the final turn. He crossed the wire 4 1/4 lengths in front, covering the distance in 1:47.22. Bocachica was in the saddle on this one as well, for owner New Farm and leading trainer Jeff Runco.
- THIRD STAR: PETE MEDHURST. Usually the announcer at Rosecroft Raceway, and on-air talent on WJFK in Washington D.C, he did an excellent job filling in for usual announcer Paul Espinosa this week. Espinosa returns for Thursday’s card, which includes a pick 5 carryover of $36,290.
- FIRST STAR: AUTHENTIC. It got a bit dicey late, but Authentic got the job done in the Haskell on Saturday, giving Bob Baffert his ninth win in that race. Read about it here.
- SECOND STAR: HOROLOGIST. This budding Jersey-bred star, who won the Monmouth Oaks last year, added another graded stakes to her resume on Saturday. Underneath Joe Bravo, she won the Molly Pitcher Stakes by two lengths. She rated off the pace early on, then inched up to early leader Our Super Freak as they rounded the final turn. The 40/1 pacesetter held on valiantly, but Horologist got by her in the last eighth for a two-length win. She covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.48 for trainer Bill Mott and owners There’s a Chance Stable, Parkland Thoroughbreds, Medallion Racing, and Abbondanza Racing.
- THIRD STAR: JOE BRAVO. Bravo had himself quite the weekend, in addition to his win on Horologist. Earlier on Saturday, he won the United Nations Stakes for the fifth time aboard Aquaphobia. He gave an excellent ride, rating right near the pace, then muscling his way past early leader Paret to take the 1 3/8 mile contest. As an encore, he won Sunday’s feature, the Jersey Girl Handicap, aboard favored Bramble Bay.
- FIRST STAR: BLUE BUFF. This 6-year-old didn’t win his second start until January of this year, but he’s more than made up for lost time. Last Tuesday at Parx, he won his fifth race in a row, taking a starter allowance contest at one mile and 70 yards by one length. Deal Driven opened up a clear lead early on, setting comfortable fractions. Turning for home, it looked like he would hold on and pull off the upset. However, 3/5 Blue Buff managed to overhaul him late and win. He won four in a row at Gulfstream Park before shipping up here, but the change in locale didn’t hurt him. Frankie Pennington rode for owner DJ Stable LLC and trainer John Servis.
- SECOND STAR: SHYZA. Shipping down from Belmont Park, this filly turned in an impressive front-running win in a n/w1x allowance on Wednesday afternoon. She crossed over to the lead from post six in the early stages of the one mile and 70 yards contest, then opened up by four lengths inside the eighth pole. She cruised under the wire 3 1/2 lengths in front, with Mychel Sanchez riding her to victory. John Servis trains for Carguys Racing.
- THIRD STAR: KARABESSA. This speedy filly made it 2-for-2 at Parx since racing resumed, winning a starter allowance race last Monday by almost eight lengths under Frankie Pennington. She went to the lead, got into a brief battle with a longshot, then dismissed the challenge and won easily. She’s owned by Emerald Racing Stable and trained by Herold Wylie; the same team also has runner-up Willthisshipsail.
LATEST RACING NEWS
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.
Hello Beautiful is odds-on to win for the eighth time in nine starts at Laurel Park in Saturday’s $100,000 Weathervane Stakes.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Saturday at Laurel for the first time in 14 years, with three mounts, including Roadster in the Polynesian.
Familiar foes – Golden Key, Aaron’s Tap and Hypothesis – meet in Saturday’s Last Enchantment S. at Charles Town, and juveniles meet in two other stakes.