Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: September 15
Its a Journey won at Parx last Monday. Photo by Taylor Ejdys/EQUI-PHOTO.
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: HAPPY SAVER. There were a bevy of stakes winners at Laurel last Monday, but only one of them will run in the Preakness. Happy Saver won the Federico Tesio Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths, extending his lifetime mark to 3-for-3 for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Trevor McCarthy. Read about his big win here.
- SECOND STAR: COMPLETED PASS. Earlier on the Monday card, Completed Pass won the Laurel Dash Stakes, making him the only locally-based stakes winner on the day. The Claudio Gonzalez trainee rated off the pace early, then almost went down turning for home as he clipped heels. He shook off the trouble and drove to the front, opening up in the stretch and holding on for a half-length win. He won the Jim McKay Sprint in 2019, but was plagued in the first part of the season by a sudden inability to break from the gate. However, he’s back to his old self again, and got his second win of the year in the Laurel Dash. He’s owned by Robert Bone, and was ridden by Angel Cruz.
- THIRD STAR: KATIE DAVIS. Davis had her best day of the year Saturday, winning with all three of her mounts on the 9-race program. She scored a mild upset in the third race, winning on 5/1 firster Mister Luigi for trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Solomon. The Cairo Kid, trained by Annette Eubanks, won race 6 as the favorite to give her a riding double. She completed the hat trick in race 9, scoring with Ran Char for Charles Frock. After missing time due to COVID-19, Davis has been on a tear since returning on September 3. In fifteen mounts, she’s had seven winners.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: RIVER CROSROAD RVF. This rambunctious gelding made national news on July 9, when he abruptly ducked out entering the stretch when sailing to a clear victory. He broke his maiden two races ago, and went off as the 6/5 favorite in his first start against winners Thursday night. Unfortunately for his many backers, the race was almost a repeat of his infamous start two back. He was just off Swing Batter on the lead, then abruptly bolted to the outside, at almost the exact same spot he did last time.
- SECOND STAR: MY FRIENDS BEER. Stakes-placed earlier in the year, this Maryland-bred finally got his second win later on the Thursday card. He was the 8/5 second choice in the field of nine, but won like a heavy chalk, beating an allowance field by 6 3/4 lengths. Wesley Ho was in the saddle, for owners Designated Hitter Racing and trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer. Favored Out of Cents, a three-time winner on the year, came up empty and was third.
- THIRD STAR: THISLILLIMEOFMINE: Saturday night’s feature, a n/w1x West Virginia-bred allowance, saw a 12/1 upset. Thislillimeofmine stalked the pace early on in the 4 1/2 furlong contest, then rallied four-wide on the turn and got by late to win by half a length. It was her first win of the year from six starts, for owner O’Sullivan Farms, trainer Javier Contreras, and jockey Antonio Lopez.
- FIRST STAR: FERRIN PETERSON. Not only did she ride four winners home on Saturday, one of them was her first career stakes win. She won for the first time in the sixth race, scoring with Wayne Potts’ Runabout, then in race 8 aboard Big Liz, for trainer Leopoldo Ortega. The hat trick was completed in the Mr. Prospector Stakes, as she guided 8/1 Share the Ride to a gate-to-wire upset for owner Silvino Ramirez and trainer Antonio Arriaga. Peterson wrapped up the grand slam in the fourteenth race, as favored Grimgrinnin’ Ghost smashed the competition. Wayne Potts picked up a training double in that race. Peterson’s now in second place in the jockey standings, with 36 wins on the meet.
- SECOND STAR: BRONX BEAUTY. A day after Peterson got her first stakes win, Issac Castillo got his, in the Regret Stakes. The bettors thought of the race as little more than a coronation for Royal Charlotte, sending her off as the 3/5 favorite. However, Bronx Beauty, coming off just a six-day layoff, outkicked her in the stretch and drew off to a 4 1/2 length win. She covered the six furlongs in 1:10.45, for 2W Stables LLC and Tony Margotta.
- THIRD STAR: CHRIS GRIFFIN. With Frank Mirahmadi returning to Santa Anita Park, Chris Griffin announced at Monmouth for the first time this weekend. Griffin is best known for being the announcer at Sam Houston Race Park, and has also announced on the Northern California fair circuit. He’ll be the announcer until closing day, October 24.
- FIRST STAR: ALEX CRISPIN. The breakout star of the Delaware season, this apprentice got hat tricks on back-to-back racing days. On Monday, he won the third race on Jack Straight, race 4 on Erin Enthusiasm, and the sixth race aboard Confessor. He kept it going on Wednesday, scoring in race 3 with Market Mover, the fourth race board Dilly Does It, and race 6 on Doodle Time. On the season, Crispin is in third place in the jockey standings, behind Carol Cedeno and Angel Suarez. However, Crispin has a higher winning percentage than either one of them, winning with 24% of his mounts.
- SECOND STAR: JOHN’S PROMISE. Later on the Wednesday card, this gelding won his third consecutive race. In the five-horse starter allowance field, Laurel shipper Bourbon Street was sent off as the 3/5 favorite. He flattened out in the stretch and finished third, while John’s Promise came from just off the pace and wore down the pacesetters to win by 1 1/4 lengths. All three of his recent wins have come at Delaware, with the beginning of the streak coming on August 8. Raul Mena was in the saddle on Wednesday, for owner Old Coach Farm and trainer Michael Gorham.
- THIRD STAR: GIGGLING: Thursday’s feature, a n/w3x allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares at five furlongs on the dirt, was won by Giggling in dominant fashion. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, Roberto Alvarado put her on the lead at once, and splashed away from the rest to win by 13 1/2 lengths. The final time was an impressive 57.63 seconds. The winner’s owned by Isabelle de Tomaso and trained by Cal Lynch, and improved her career mark to 4-for-7.
- FIRST STAR: MYCHEL SANCHEZ. Parx hosted a bunch of Pennsylvania-bred stakes last Monday. Only one jockey one two of them: Mychel Sanchez. He won the Mrs. Penny Stakes on It’s a Journey, winning the 1 1/16 mile grass affair by a neck. The winner’s owned by Gap View Stables and Jagger Inc, and trained by Jamie Ness. In the very next race, he won the Dr. Teresa Garafalo Memorial Stakes aboard Pink Caddy. That filly won the six-furlong dash by 1 1/4 lengths, for owners Club Risque Stable and Gregory Quick, and trainer Randy Allen.
- SECOND STAR: COLLOQUIUM: Wednesday’s feature, a n/w1x allowance at one mile and seventy yards on the dirt, went to Colloquium. She won by 3 3/4 lengths, after making the lead before the half-mile point. She’s won twice on the year from six starts, with her two wins coming consecutively. Luis Rodriguez Castro was in the saddle, for owner Victoria Alih Stables and trainer Jorge Diaz.
- THIRD STAR: DREAMS UNTOLD. Earlier on the Monday card, Dreams Untold got back to his winning ways. He handily beat a Pennsylvania-bred n/w1x allowance field by 2 3/4 lengths, in his first win at Parx since his dominant maiden win in January. He covered seven furlongs in 1:22.92, for Someday Farm, John Servis, and Frankie Pennington. That’s the same owner/trainer combination as his sire, Smarty Jones.
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