Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: July 28
Golden Brown won the Irish War Cry Handicap on Saturday. 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: JEVIAN TOLEDO. With his win aboard MJ’s Lady in the ninth race on Friday afternoon, Toledo got his 1,000th career victory. He came from far off the pace in the one-mile maiden affair, closing dramatically in the final eighth to get up over Ski Bunny and win by 3/4 of a length. Toledo has been a Maryland mainstay since launching his career in 2013, leading the circuit in wins in 2015 and 2017. He’s currently fourth in the jockey standings, but with the leaders either on the sidelines or at Colonial Downs, he’s got a great chance to take control.
- SECOND STAR: KARAN’S NOTION. This year has seen a bumper crop of high-quality Maryland-bred 3-year-olds. While it’s unclear of Karan’s Notion is quite at the level of some of them, he certainly made a big impression breaking his maiden on Thursday afternoon. He destroyed a $40,000 maiden claiming group by 13 1/2 lengths, going 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.95. He earned a Beyer speed figure of 78 for that win, outdoing several other solid sprinters on the card, including the promising Maryland-bred 4-year-old Bull Shark. Karan’s Notion was ridden by Yomar Ortiz, for owner/trainer Nancy Heil.
- THIRD STAR: ARTHUR’S HOPE. Laki was the star horse going into Saturday’s feature, a stakes-quality open allowance race at seven furlongs. 14/1 Arthur’s Hope stole the show, however, winning by half a length. Jorge Ruiz put him on a clear early lead, setting the opening quarter with minimal pace pressure in 23.07 seconds. Laki got a similar trip as when he won the Oceanport Centennial Stakes, stalking the pace on the inside. Turning for home, Horacio Karamanos angled Laki out for the stretch run, and though he closed gamely, it wasn’t enough to get up over Arthur’s Hope. The winner went in 1:21.69, for owner Raul DelValle and trainer Marco Salazar.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: HERO’S MAN: A crack field of West Virginia-bred allowance horses lined up for the Thursday night feature, and Hero’s Man proved best of them all. Sent off as the 8/5 favorite, J.D. Acosta sent him right to the lead from post position one, and opened up a clear advantage. No one came close to catching him, and he splashed under the wire five lengths in front. It was his third win in his last four starts, in his first race since March 21. He covered seven furlongs in 1:25.96 for Taylor Mountain Farm and James Casey.
- SECOND STAR: CAMERON STREET. Friday night’s feature saw an upset, as 13/1 Cameron Street defeated a field of West Virginia-bred fillies & mares by two lengths. She was at the back early on in the seven-furlong affair, but moved up around the final turn. She pulled clear in the last eighth to win by two lengths, getting up over favored Grace Elizabeth. The winner is owned and trained by John Casey, and got her first win on the year from six starts in that race.
- THIRD STAR: THURSDAY NIGHT PICK 5. A carryover of $36,290 in the pick 5 greeted bettors on Thursday night, and they responded in kind. More than $155,000 in new money was wagered on the sequence, representing the biggest pool in the short history of the wager. With two favorites and two longshots highlighting the sequence, the bet paid more than $14,000 for 50 cents. Another carryover will greet bettors this upcoming Thursday, of $15,519.
- FIRST STAR: VANZZY. He picked up his second stakes win of the year on Sunday afternoon, taking the Jersey Derby at 1 1/16 miles on the grass by 3 1/2 lengths. Paco Lopez gave him an excellent ride, stalking the leaders up the backstretch and pouncing in the stretch. He drew off in the stretch, covering the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.30. He won the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park earlier in the year, and most recently finished third in the Kent Stakes at Delaware Park. He’s owned by Daniel Ryan and trained by Michael Pino.
- SECOND STAR: GOLDEN BROWN. This Jersey-bred veteran defeated his state-mates on Saturday in the Irish War Cry Handicap. He rated off the pace four-wide in the early stages of the one-mile, then backed up just a little bit at the half-mile point. Paco Lopez relaunched him on the turn, sweeping four-wide and drawing off to a 2 1/4-length victory. Favored Royal Urn, who led most of the way, held on for second as the 1/1 favorite. The winner is owned by ABL Stable, Bossone, Donnelly, and Schnoor, and trained by Pat McBurney.
- THIRD STAR: FLIGHT TO SHANGHAI. The racing week began with perhaps the most impressive 2-year-old we’ve seen at the meet this far. This Jane Cibelli-trained filly broke her maiden by six lengths, coasting over five furlongs in 59.17 seconds. Paco Lopez put her on the lead early, and didn’t look back. She finished second on debut at Gulfstream Park in June; it looks like the extra race helped her out here. Favored Takingtimeoff was second as the favorite, for Godolphin and Mike Stidham.
- FIRST STAR: MYCHEL SANCHEZ. Sanchez had a big day last Tuesday, winning four races. He took race 1 with Zipped Code, for trainer Juan Vasquez. He followed it up with a natural hat trick for trainer Guadalupe Preciado, winning race 7 with Sail at Sunrise, race 8 aboard The Robert, and race 9 on Zippy. As an encore, Sanchez took two more on Wednesday, winning the 4th race on Gossip Isle for trainer Eli Betancourt, and race 6 with Word on a Wing for Kathleen Demasi.
- SECOND STAR: FLASHNDYNAMITE. This white-hot mare won her fourth in a row on Tuesday, taking a starter allowance contest by a length. She enjoyed a perfect trip in the one mile and seventy yard race, stalking early leaders Slingin Sammy B and Magalie, while two lengths clear of the rest. On the turn, Silvestre Gonzalez pushed the button, and the mare responded nicely. Slingin Sammy B held on for second; they were more than fifteen lengths clear of the rest. The winner is trained by Michael Moore, for Kasey K Racing Stable.
- THIRD STAR: INFURIATED. Despite lugging out a bit in the stretch, he won the Wednesday feature, a n/w2x allowance/optional claiming race, in gate-to-wire style. Jason Nguyen sent him to the lead early in the 7 1/2 furlong affair, set a cozy pace, and held on to win by 2 3/4 lengths as the 2/1 second choice. That was his first win of the year, in four starts, for owner Christopher McCarthy and trainer Donald White.
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Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
In a half-dozen Laurel Park stakes, riders Angel Cruz and Jevian Toledo, trainer Jerry Robb and Brittany Russell, and stallion Munnings all had two winners.
Trainer Brittany Russell didn’t run what is probably her best three-year-old Saturday at Laurel, but she still swept the two sophomore stakes on the card.
Well-bet favorites labored home third in a pair of Maryland-bred stakes, while Plot the Dots and Award Wanted were easy winners.