Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: September 22
Horacio Karamanos. Photo: Jim McCue/MJC
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 STARS: HORACIO KARAMANOS AND CLAUDIO GONZALEZ. The summer meet at Laurel wrapped up on Saturday. Horacio Karamanos barely edged Jevian Toledo for the jockey title, 42 wins to 41. Karamanos, a longtime mainstay in Maryland, has now won five riding titles between Pimlico and Laurel.
In the training race, Claudio Gonzalez won comfortably, with 27 wins compared to runner-up Damon Dilodovico’s 16. Gonzalez has now won the training title at ten of the last eleven meets in Maryland.
- SECOND STAR: COCONUT CAKE. On Thursday, a pair of promising Maryland Million-eligible fillies squared off in a n/w1x allowance on dirt. Coconut Cake edged out Quiet Imagination for her third win in a row, scoring by half a length. Both fillies came from off a fast pace. Coconut Cake saved ground most of the way and came up the inside, while Quiet Imagination was fanned wide in the stretch. That likely made the difference at the wire. The winner crossed the line in 1:09.61 for six furlongs, for co-owner/trainer Tim Keefe, who owns in conjunction with NRS Stable and James Chambers, and jockey Kevin Gomez.
- THIRD STAR: GALERIO. Earlier on the Thursday card, the hard-knocking Galerio won his sixth race of the year. It was a dramatic one, as he took a n/w1x allowance at 1 1/16 miles by a nose. Angel Cruz kept him well out of it early on, making a four-wide bid from last on the turn. He took control in the stretch, then held off the late rally of Crouchelli for the win. He’s owned by Robert Bone and trained by Claudio Gonzalez.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: RUNNINTOLUVYA. Saturday’s stakes-packed card was headlined by a battle between Runnintoluvya and Penguin Power in the Frank Gall Memorial. The former won the battle with his archrival, scoring by a length as the 1/1 second choice. You can read more about that race, and the rest of the stakes action, here.
- SECOND STARS: JOHN MCKEE AND RESHAWN LATCHMAN. McKee and Latchman teamed up to win two stakes on Saturday, the only ones to win more than one. They prevailed in the Rachel’s Turn Stakes for 2-year-old fillies with Theladyistrue, while favored That Kenney Kid struggled home fourth. A few races later, they took the Sadie Hawkins Stakes, for older fillies and mares, on favored Bridging the Gap.
- THIRD STAR: HOPPING HENRY. The other stakes of the night was the Henry Mercer Memorial, for 2-year-olds. Hopping Henry won that race at 5/2, stalking the pace and getting by late to win by 1 1/4 lengths. He’s owned and trained by Michael Sterling, and ridden by Wesley Ho.
- FIRST STAR: PIRATE’S PUNCH. Mid-Atlantic mainstay Victor Carrasco looks like he’s got himself a Breeders’ Cup mount. He guided Pirate’s Punch to a win in Sunday’s Salvator Mile, punching a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Read more about the race here.
- SECOND STAR: GROWTH ENGINE. Saturday’s 14-race marathon card was headlined by a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race at one mile and seventy yards. Growth Engine got the win there, prevailing in a stretch battle with Optic Way by a nose. That’s his second win of the year, from three starts. He’s also 2-for-2 at the Monmouth meet. The team of Klaravich Stables and Chad Brown got another winner, with Nik Juarez in the saddle.
- THIRD STAR: STAY SMART. Sunday’s card also featured a n/w2x Jersey-bred allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares. She got a great trip stalking early leader Roselba, then moved on the turn to the front. In the stretch, she held off the steady bid of Groovy Surprise for the length win. She’s now won twice at the meet from three starts, for owners Edward Rosen and John Bowers, trainer Kelly Breen, and jockey Joe Bravo.
- FIRST STAR: ANGEL SUAREZ. As the battle in the jockey race at Delaware rages on, Angel Suarez made a decisive move on last Monday’s card. He won four races on the Monday card, beginning the day with a dramatic photo finish win on Heather Hills, for trainer Stacy Hendry. After a losing a photo in race 2, he bounced back with Chess Master in the third race, for trainer Baltazar Galvan. He got the hat trick on heavy favorite Spirited Beauty, trained by Jose Camejo, in race 4. The grand slam was completed in the sixth race, guiding home Anthony Pecoraro’s Communication Fail. Suarez has 49 wins on the meet, second behind Carol Cedeno.
- SECOND STAR: CAUGHT UP IN YOU. Wednesday’s feature, a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race at six furlongs, saw an upset. 7/1 Caught Up in You got her first win of the year, scoring by 3/4 of a length with a sharp rail rally. Favored Corn Off the Cob got the perfect trip off the pace, but came up empty and was third. The winner covered the six furlongs in 1:10.83, for owner John Marceda, trainer Pedro Posadas, and jockey Carol Cedeno.
- THIRD STAR: FINAL PROSPECT. For the fourth time this year, Jamie Ness trainee Final Prospect found the winner’s circle, as he won a starter allowance race on Thursday. He got a perfect trip off a speed duel, then rolled by in the stretch and won by 3 1/2 lengths. He covered the mile in 1:38.14, for owner Jagger Inc and rider Jamie Rodriguez.
- FIRST STAR: FRANKIE PENNINGTON. This Parx veteran turned a riding hat trick last Tuesday. He began his day in the second race, winning on John McCaslin trainee Tizanoxbow. He made it a double on heavy favorite G Daddy in race 4, for trainer John Servis. The hat trick was achieved in the sixth race on Movie Score, trained by Oscar Barrera III. Pennington is in second place in the jockey standings, with 84 victories.
- SECOND STAR: BELLARMINE HALL. Monday’s feature, a starter optional claiming affair going long on dirt, went to this Jamie Ness gelding. He rated off early longshot leader Enduro’s Diamond, getting a perfect trip. When that rival backed up, Bellarmine Hall moved to the front, and drew off to a 6 1/2-length win. He’s now won twice on the year from nine starts, and has hit the board in six of those races. Gap View Stables and Jamie Ness co-own, while Ruben Silvera was in the saddle.
- THIRD STAR: POWERFUL VENEZUELA. Wednesday’s feature, a n/w1x allowance affair at seven furlongs, went to Powerful Venezuela. She got a great trip stalking the pace wide, then moved on the turn and got by Manolito for a half-length win. That’s her fourth win of the year, and her first since July 8. She’s owned by Bing Cherry Racing, trained by Harold Wyner, and was ridden by Jeremy Laprida.
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.