Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: September 29
Pickin’ Time (outside) and Dalton battle down the stretch. Photo: Ryan Denver/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 STARS: TREVOR MCCARTHY. On opening weekend at Pimlico, Trevor came out flying. He won three races on Friday afternoon, from seven mounts. He took race 3 on Sky Proposal, the 4th race on Hushed Hijinks, and race 6 on San Antone. McCarthy won a total of five races opening weekend, giving him the lead in the jockey standings.
- SECOND STAR: JAXON TRAVELER. You don’t see Steve Asmussen send many 2-year-olds to Maryland for their debuts, but he entered Maryland-bred Jaxon Traveler in a maiden race on Friday. He lived up to the 1/1 hype, winning by 10 1/4 lengths. He went six furlongs in a sharp 1:10.41, over a fast track with little run-up. Johan Rosado was in the saddle, for owners West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner. He is not Maryland Million-eligible, but he’s still likely to show up in an east coast stakes next out.
- THIRD STAR: OLDIES BUT GOODIES. Saturday’s feature, a n/w2x allowance optional claiming contest at five furlongs on dirt, went to this Maryland-bred gelding. Over a wet, speed-favoring surface, he rated off the pace set by Zyramid, then moved wide on the turn. In the stretch, he wore down Zyramid to win by three-quarters of a length. Favored Bull Shark was no factor and finished fifth. This was the first win of the year for Oldies But Goodies, for owner Larry Johnson, trainer Mike Trombetta, and jockey Julian Pimentel.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: LUIS BATISTA. Thursday was a good night for Luis Batista. He got a natural riding hat trick, with three consecutive winners. He kicked things off with an upset, scoring on 30/1 Manna From Hannah in race 3. After that, he won race 4 with Queen of Anything, and the 5th race aboard Joopster. Batista is in eighth place in the Charles Town standings, with 42 wins on the year.
- SECOND STARS: CHARITABLE SPENNY. For the fifth time this year, Charitable Spenny found the Charles Town winner’s circle last Saturday. He won a West Virginia-bred allowance race by 5 1/4 lengths, going to the front early and drawing off for an easy gate-to-wire win. He’s now hit the board seven times from nine races this year, with earnings of more than $60,000. He’s owned by TW Stables, trained by Linda Dollinger-Stehr, and ridden by Javier Rivera.
- THIRD STAR: REFORM SCHOOL. The favorite won Friday night’s feature, a n/w3 allowance at 4 1/2 furlongs. Gerald Almodovar put this 3-year-old on the lead early, setting a fast tempo while encountering pace pressure. He shrugged it off and drew off to win by three lengths. That’s Reform School’s first win of the year, in his second start at Charles Town and fourth race of 2020 overall. Crystal Pickett is the winning owner and trainer.
- FIRST STAR: SHE’S GOT YOU. Saturday’s feature at Monmouth, the Violet Stakes, was an exciting race with a close finish. Ultimately, it went to Chad Brown trainee She’s Got You. Making just her second start in the United States, she rated at the back of the pack early on behind a relatively slow pace, over a grass track that has not been favoring closers. Undeterred, Joe Bravo moved her four-wide on the final turn, and had her rolling in the stretch. Altea, who stalked just off the leader, had first jump, and battled gamely with She’s Got You down the lane. Ultimately, She’s Got You got the nod, winning by a head. John and Tanya Gunther are the winning owners.
- SECOND STAR: PICKIN’ TIME. The opener on Sunday was also the feature: the Smoke Glacken Stakes. It was won by a Jersey-bred, Pickin’ Time, in a stretch battle. He rated off a very fast pace, then moved wide on the turn and looked strong. However, Dalton also enjoyed a similar trip, and he responded in kind on the inside. The two duked it out throughout the last sixteenth, but Pickin’ Time won the photo by a nose. He’s owned by Roseland Farms, trained by Kelly Breen, and was ridden by Joe Bravo.
- THIRD STAR: ANDREZ CONQUIST. Saturday’s thirteenth race saw a historic upset. Andrez Conquist, who had never been close in any of his prior seven races, won a maiden claiming race on grass by four lengths at 158/1. He paid a whopping $319.80 to win, which is the biggest win price in Monmouth Park history.
- FIRST STARS: ALEX CRISPIN AND VICTOR ROSALES. Saturday’s big Owner’s Day card saw two young jockeys get their first stakes wins. Crispin won the First State Dash on Slinglino, scoring by two lengths in a front-running effort. Rosales got his win by disqualification. His mount, Threes Over Deuces, crossed the wire second in the New Castle Stakes, but got the win when Whereshetoldmetogo was disqualified.
- SECOND STAR: FACT FINDING. Although there were several impressive stakes winners on Saturday, Fact Finding was perhaps the best of them all. He crushed the field in the DTHA Governor’s Day Handicap, prevailing by 11 3/4 lengths in a sharp time of 1:41.27 for 1 1/16 miles. You can read more about him, and the rest of the day’s action, here.
- THIRD STAR: SUGAR STREAK. Monday’s feature, a n/w1x allowance at one mile on the dirt, saw a 21/1 upset. Sugar Streak sat well behind early on, then moved five-wide on the turn. She caught favored Bobby’s Goldengirl, who was clear at the eighth pole, and won by a neck. The winner’s owned by Abhyasa Racing, trained by Ned Coletti, and ridden by Angel Suarez.
- FIRST STAR: MY BOY TATE. My Boy Tate shipped down from New York and found his way into the Parx winner’s circle on Wednesday, for his first win of the year. Sent off as the 2/1 second choice in a tough open allowance field, he sat second early, while Infuriated winged it all alone on the front end. Turning for home, Infuriated was up by eight lengths, but he got tired, and My Boy Tate began gobbling up ground. While Infuriated managed to hold second, My Boy Tate drew off to win by 5 1/2 lengths. Michelle Nevin trains and co-owns with Little Red Feather Racing, with Ruben Silvera in the saddle.
- SECOND STAR: SHYZA. Monday’s feature went to this up-and-coming filly, who crushed a n/w2x allowance group my more than ten lengths. She made the lead early on in the one-mile contest, and was never seriously challenged. She’s now won two times in her last three starts, and three times overall in her career. She’s owned by Carguys Racing, trained by John Servis, and ridden by Mychel Sanchez.
- THIRD STAR: RUBEN SILVERA. One of Parx’s top jockeys had himself quite the day on Wednesday. In addition to My Boy Tate, he rode three other winners on the card, for a total of four victories. He won two for Jamie Ness, scoring in race 1 with Congrats Answer, and the 5th race aboard Baby Bam Bam. He completed the grand slam in the tenth race, on Guadalupe Guerrero’s Kadens Courage. Silvera’s in third place in the rider standings, with 54 victories.
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.