Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: August 18
Top Line Growth won a 2019 allowance at Laurel Park. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
Plenty of racing action took place throughout the Mid-Atlantic this past week.
Here’s a look at the “three stars” of each track:
- FIRST STAR: TOP LINE GROWTH. Last year’s Maryland-bred Iowa Derby winner made his four-year-old debut on Friday, in a n/w3x allowance optional claiming race. He won handily, scoring by 5 1/2 lengths after prompting the pace on the outside. Last year, he set the track record for a mile on dirt, going in 1:34.07. He almost broke that record on Friday, covering the distance in 1:34.74. Julian Pimentel was in the saddle, for the Elkstone Group and Kelly Rubley.
- SECOND STAR: CLAUDIO GONZALEZ. After hitting a brief rough patch, Maryland’s leading trainer got back in business this week, winning five races. His best day was on Thursday, when he won three races. Angel Cruz was aboard for two of those winners, taking race 1 with Landing Zone and the fifth race with Queen of Tomorrow. Weston Hamilton rode his third winner of the day, in race 7 aboard Polished Copper. This week helped Gonzalez retake a stranglehold on the trainer standings; he now leads the way with nineteen wins. Damon Dilodovico is second with 13 victories.
- THIRD STAR: GALERIO. One of Gonzalez’s other winners came on Friday, as Galerio impressively won a Maryland-bred allowance race. Sent off as the 5/2 second choice, he got involved in an early speed duel with longshot Brooks Robinson, then pulled away from his rival turning for home. From there, he drew off to a 4 1/4 length score, stopping the clock in 1:10.36 for six furlongs. On the year, he’s won five times from eight starts, with two second-place finishes. He’s owned by Robert Bone, and was ridden by Angel Cruz.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: NORTH ATLANTIC. Coming off a second-place finish in the Confucius Say Stakes, North Atlantic got back to his winning ways on Thursday night, with a win in a West Virginia-bred allowance contest. He rated off a speed duel between Ihearuknockin and Rescue Five, then made his move when those leaders got tired. However, his stablemate Boaster moved right with him, and those two got into a heated battle down the stretch. North Atlantic won the photo by a head, for his second win of the year, and seventeenth career victory. He’s owned by Coleswood Farm, trained by Jeff Runco, and was ridden by Gerald Almodovar.
- SECOND STAR: LADY MADISON. Saturday’s feature race went to Lady Madison, for her third win of the year. Sent off as the 1/1 choice in a West Virginia-bred allowance, she crushed three rivals by 9 3/4 lengths, going seven furlongs over a wet track in 1:26.68. William Earl Atkins owns, William Atkins trains, while Victor Rodriguez was in the saddle.
- THIRD STAR: WESLEY HO. Ho had the best week of any Charles Town jockey, with a pair of riding doubles. On Thursday, he won the opener with Lizzie’s Lad, and race 6 aboard Peaceful Child. On Saturday, he scored back-to-back winners, winning on Indian Fiber in race 2 and Hopping Henry in race 3. Ho is currently in ninth place in the Charles Town jockey standings, with 31 wins.
- FIRST STAR: PNEUMATIC. This Steve Asmussen trainee punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, taking the Pegasus Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths as the 4/5 favorite. Jesus’s Team, coming off a fourth-place finish in the Haskell, finished second. Read more about the race here.
- SECOND STAR: CHALON. She got her second stakes win of the year on Sunday, winning a splash-tastic Incredible Revenge Stakes by a length. Paco Lopez was in the saddle on the Arnaud Delacour trainee, who dueled for the lead early on and held sway late. More about the race can be found here.
- THIRD STAR: CHEDDAR CHUB. His win in Saturday’s first race means he’s now won a race at Monmouth for four consecutive years. This 10-year-old Jersey-bred gelding took a Jersey-bred allowance by two lengths. He was far back in the early stages of the one mile and seventy yard race, before launching a strong four-wide rally on the turn. In his career, he’s now won twelve times from 85 races, earning almost $460,000. He’s owned and trained James Frangella, and was ridden by Wilmer Garcia.
- FIRST STAR: LE WEEKEND. The jump in class was no issue for Le Weekend, as she won Monday’s feature, a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race, by five lengths. It was a hard-earned win, too, as she got involved in an early tussle with Angel at War. After dismissing that rival on the turn, she drew off and won going away, going the six furlongs in 1:10.18. She’s now 2-for-2 on the Delaware season, after winning a conditioned claiming race last out. She’s owned by Smart Angle LLP, trained by Mark Reid, and was ridden by Alexander Crispin.
- SECOND STAR: JAMIE NESS. Ness had a big day on Monday, scoring a training hat trick. He won race 4 with Little Mazzy, followed by race 5 with Truly Red and race 7 with Annika Gold. Ness picked up another winner on Wednesday, increasing his meet total to 22 wins. Him and McLean Robertson, who has 13 victories, are the only two trainers with more than ten wins on the season.
- THIRD STAR: GOLDEN CANDY. Saturday’s featured n/w2x allowance optional claiming saw a gritty stretch battle between Golden Candy and Workin on a Dream. The former made a three-wide move after the lead on the turn, but could not shake off the latter, who had been just off the early lead. The two dueled the entire length of the stretch, but Golden Candy ultimately prevailed by a neck. That’s the second win in a row for the 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred, who won last out at Delaware. Carol Cedeno was up, for owner A. Delaperrire Stables and trainer Anthony Pecoraro.
- FIRST STAR: INFURIATED. He made it two in a row in Wednesday’s feature race, an open allowance. Sent off at 24/1 despite a win in a n/w2x allowance last out, Jason Nguyen immediately put him on the lead, and opened up a clear advantage. No one could make up any ground on the long leader, and he cruised to the wire 4 3/4 lengths in front as the biggest longshot in the field. The winner is owned by Christopher McCarthy and trained by Donald White.
- SECOND STAR: DOCTORSOFMISCHIEF. Earlier on the Wednesday card, Doctorsofmischief, won a n/w2x allowance optional claiming at six furlongs by a head. She got a great trip stalking the pace, but needed every bit of the stretch to wear down fellow closer Nth Degree. That was Doctorsofmischief’s first win of the year, in her fourth start of the campaign. She’s owned by J. Refugio Guerrero, trained by J.G. Guerrero, and ridden by Dexter Haddock.
- THIRD STAR: FLY ON ANGEL. This 3-year-old filly went gate-to-wire in Monday’s feature, winning a n/w1x allowance for fellow sophomores by two lengths. She was sent directly to the lead by Mychel Sanchez, and kept on going to win by two lengths. The seven furlongs was covered in 1:23.59 over a fast track. She’s owned by Nicholas Cammarano and trained by Guadalupe Preciado.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
Apprentice rider Victor Flores, 35, had some detours before starting his riding career. He’s trying to make up for lost time now at Monmouth Park.
Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver continues to rise, up to second in the latest NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for 3yo.
Delaware Park track announcer John Curran closed the books on his 37-year tenure at the track when he called closing day 2020 on Saturday.
With the Delaware Park meet closing today, we flag some of the two-year-olds that raced there that might be worth keeping an eye on.
Second on debut, Lugamo, a Florida-bred Chitu colt, won easily at Laurel Park Friday to graduate from the maiden ranks.