Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: September 1
Fly On Angel won the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks. Photo by Coady Photography.
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: HANALEI’S HOUDINI: Saturday’s feature race, a n/w2x allowance at one mile on the dirt, saw a rematch of two of the circuit’s top horses, and a chance to avenge a disqualification. Hanalei’s Houdini, who was disqualified from the victory the last time they met on August 1, was sent off as the 3/5 favorite, while Tattooed was the 8/5 second choice. Both rated off the pace in the early going, before Hanalei’s Houdini made a move on the inside on the turn. Tattooed tried to follow the move, but was no match for Hanalei’s Houdini, who coasted under the line 2 1/4 lengths in front. The final time for the mile was 1:36.49, for owner Collingsworth Thoroughbreds, trainer Hamilton Smith, and jockey Xavier Perez.
- SECOND STAR: CANNON’S ROAR: Friday’s feature was a competitive n/w1x Maryland-bred allowance race on the grass, Cannon’s Roar, the slight 5/2 favorite, won by half a length. He enjoyed a good trip stalking pacesetters Dundalk and Can He Shine, then moved three-wide on the second turn and began to attack the leaders. Dundalk held on gamely, but Cannon’s Roar wore him down inside the eighth pole, to get his second win in a row. Charlie Marquez was in the saddle, for Taking Risks Stable and Dale Capuano.
- THIRD STAR: LAURALEA GLASER. She’s been on a ridiculous hot streak as of late, winning ten races with her last twenty two mounts. This week, she went 3-for-4, getting a riding double on Thursday, and following it up with a win on Saturday’s program. She has a clear lead in winning percentage among regular Laurel jockeys, at 37% on the season. In terms of wins, Horacio Karamanos has a slight lead over Jevian Toledo, 35-34.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: CLAUDIO GONZALEZ. Despite his mid-Atlantic dominance, Claudio Gonzalez had just one graded stakes win on his resume going into Friday night: Chublicious in the 2017 DeFrancis Dash. Not only did he add a second one on Friday night, he dominated the race. He saddled Charles Town Oaks winner Fly on Angel, who scored a gate-to-wire win at 9/1. He also had Princess Cadey, who finished third at 16/1, and Ankle Monitor, who was fourth at 49/1. For Fly on Angel, it was her first stakes win, and her second victory in a row. She’s owned by Joseph Besecker and was ridden by Fredy Peltroche.
- SECOND STAR: SLEEPY EYES TODD. The feature of the Charles Town season, the Charles Town Classic, was also on Friday night, and went to Sleepy Eyed Todd. Just like Fly on Angel, he went gate-to-wire to win by 7 1/2 lengths. Read more about his win here.
- THIRD STARS: ARNALDO BOCACHICA AND JEFF RUNCO. This jockey/trainer duo were the only ones to win multiple stakes races on Friday night. They teamed up for the win on Stowe Angel in the Robert Leavitt Stakes, and with heavy favorite Star of Night in the Sylvia Bishop Stakes. The two have a big edge in the jockey and trainer standings, with 108 and 65 wins, respectively.
- FIRST STAR: PRENDIMI. Sunday saw a bevy of New Jersey-bred stakes races, and the stretch battle between Prendimi and Golden Brown in the Charles Hesse was the highlight. You can read more about their duel here.
- SECOND STAR: VALIANCE. The day before, the Eatontown was taken off the grass, and contested at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. That didn’t stop Valiance, who splashed home a 1 1/2 length winner, for trainer Todd Pletcher and rider Nik Juarez. Read more about the race here.
- THIRD STAR: JOSE FERRER. Later on the Saturday card, veteran jockey Jose Ferrer hit a major career milestone. With his gate-to-wire win on Tracy Ann’s Legacy in the thirteenth race, Ferrer notched his 4,500th career win. Since beginning his career in 1982, Ferrer has had more than 30,000 mounts, while earning more than $78.2 million. He’s won 26 graded stakes races in his career, including the grade 1 Spinaway Stakes in 2000. In 2018, he won the riding title at Monmouth.
- FIRST STAR: SEANY P. This Maryland-bred gelding picked up his second win of the Delaware meet in Monday’s feature, a n/w2x allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. Presque Isle Downs shipper Skol Factor was the 3/5 favorite, but could do no better than third, beaten a length. 44/1 shot Gravel Road set a contested early pace, dismissed his dueling partner, and held well in the stretch. Unfortunately for him, Seany P sat well off the pace, and got by late to win by 3/4 of a length at 16/1. He went 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.84, for No Guts No Glory Farm and Erica Upton, trainer John Robb, and jockey Brian Pedroza.
- SECOND STAR: BLUE EYED GIRL. Making her first start since a fifth-place finish in the Barbara Fritchie Stakes, this Jamie Ness-trained filly impressively won a n/w2x allowance on Saturday by 1 1/2 lengths. Jamie Rodriguez put her on the lead early, and despite some pressure early on, she drew away from the field to win handily. She stopped the clock in 1:05.03 for 5 1/2 furlongs, over a sloppy track. Morris Kernan, Yo Berbs, and Jagger Inc are the winning owners.
- THIRD STAR: NILEATOR. Wednesday’s feature went to this 8-year-old veteran, who won a n/w2x allowance at one mile on the dirt by two lengths. He was last in the field of five in the early stages, but had an honest pace to close into. He made his move three-wide on the turn, then battled past the early leaders to get up for the score. Abner Adorno was in the saddle, for owner/trainer Daniel Velazquez.
- FIRST STAR: DREAMER’S MOON. She continued her dominant run at Parx on Wednesday, winning her fourth race in a row, and her fifth in her last six. Sent off as the 9/5 favorite in a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race, she dueled on the lead with The Circle Game through the first quarter, then brushed her off. Shyza, who was rating off that duel, challenged Dreamer’s Moon on the turn, but she was easily dismissed as well. Dreamer’s Moon cruised under the wire three lengths in front, covering seven furlongs in 1:25.64. She’s owned by MCA Racing Stable, trained by Claudio Gonzalez, and ridden by Jeremy Laprida.
- SECOND STARS: JAMIE NESS. He had about as good a start to the racing week as you could have, with three wins on Monday’s card. Ness got the race 3 win with Thundershook, the fifth race score with Knock Out Kid, and polished off the hat trick in the 9th race with Odd Gal. Ness is way out in front in the trainer standings, with 50 wins to his credit.
- THIRD STAR: MYCHEL SANCHEZ. The leading jockey at Parx further asserted his dominance on Wednesday, winning three races. He scored in race 6 with Kion, race 7 aboard Call Wil, and race 10 on Rumor Ridge. Adding to his three wins earlier in the week, he built up his meet total to 72 wins, putting him well in front of the others in the riding standings.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
Maryland-bred Knicks Go, the likely horse of the year, on Sunday had his final tuneup prior to Saturday’s G1 Pegasus World Cup.
Three-year-old Joe, winner of the Maryland Juvenile Championship, stretched out to two turns nicely to win an allowance at Laurel Park.
Hibiscus Punch, winner of the 2021 G3 Fritchie, had her final breeze Saturday morning in preparation for the Jan. 29 What a Summer at Laurel Park.
Air Token, winner of the 2021 Maryland Million Sprint, won an allowance contest Friday at Laurel Park for his first win since.
Wondrwherecraigis, idle since a win in the G3 Bold Ruler in October, may make his next start Jan. 29 in the Fire Plug at Laurel Park.