Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: December 1
Shutupn’kissme wins the Eleanor Casey Stakes at Charles Town. Photo: 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: HARPERS FIRST RIDE. Four Maryland-breds won an open stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday, with Harpers First Ride serving as the headliner with his Richard Small Stakes win. He sat in mid-pack early on, then moved boldly on the final turn and drew off by three lengths. He’s won three stakes races this year, including the Pimlico Special. Angel Cruz was in the saddle for owner MCA Racing Stable and trainer Claudio Gonzalez.
- SECOND STARS: HELLO BEAUTIFUL. This filly had accomplished a lot at Laurel, but had never won a stakes against open company. She changed that on Saturday, taking the Safely Kept Stakes by three lengths. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, she rated just off early leader Fly on Angel, then pounced turning for home and drew off from there. The trainer/jockey team of Brittany and Sheldon Russell not only won with her, they won the Frank Whiteley Stakes with Whereshetoldmetogo one race later.
- THIRD STAR: WESTON HAMILTON. After a slow start to the fall meet, Hamilton began making up for lost time on Sunday. He won three races on the nine-race card. He won the fourth race on heavily favored Calypso Ghost, just holding on after opening up a big margin in the stretch and tiring. He made it a double in race 7, as Empty Nestr wore down early leader Itgot Grandma. The hat trick was completed in race 9, as Sensationalist surged in the stretch to win at 23/1.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: SHUTUPN’KISSME: Four West Virginia-bred fillies squared off in Saturday night’s feature, the Eleanor Casey Stakes. Shutupn’kissme went gate-to-wire to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Wesley Ho put her on the lead early on in the seven-furlong contest, and she never gave up the advantage. That’s her first career stakes win; she had previously finished in the top four in three other stakes. John McKee is the winning owner, trainer, and breeder.
- SECOND STAR: HYPOTHESIS. A solid field of open West Virginia-bred allowance horses lined up earlier on the Saturday card. Off a second-place finish in the West Virginia Lottery Breeders’ Classic last out, Hypothesis bounced back to win this one by a length. He rated in mid-pack early on, rallied four-wide, and got up to win by a length. He covered the 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.69 seconds, for his third win this year. Darius Thorpe was in the saddle, for owner Jill Daniel and trainer Crystal Pickett.
- THIRD STAR: FINAL SAY. This up-and-coming West Virginia-bred once again impressed on Friday, winning for the third time in her last four starts. Sent off as the 6/5 in an open n/w1x contest, she got a perfect stalking trip behind early leader Shackled. When that rival tired, she moved easily to the lead and drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths. She’s owned by James Wolf, trained by Anthony Farrior, and ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.
- FIRST STAR: DECOUPAGE. Last Tuesday’s feature was a n/w2x allowance for fillies and mares going seven furlongs. The Jamie Ness entry finished 1-2, with Decoupage getting the edge over stablemate Baby Boss. Decoupage stalked her rival the whole way, then wore her down in the last sixteenth to win by a neck. She’s now won twice from seven starts on the year, with her other triumph coming in an allowance at Charles Town in July. Madison Avenue Racing Stable and Jagger Inc are the co-owners, while Ruben Silvera was the winning pilot.
- SECOND STAR: JAMIE NESS. Ness had a big day all-around on Tuesday. In addition to Decoupage, he saddled two more winners. He sent out Finglas to win race 3, with jockey Angel Castillo. Silvera was aboard for Ness’s seventh race win with Indian Lake. The wins further cemented Ness’s lead in the trainer standings; he has 98 wins on the meet.
- THIRD STAR: JEREMY LAPRIDA. One of the breakout stars of the Parx meet, Laprida had a big day on Wednesday, with three wins from nine mounts. He won on Capo Kane in race 5, Lady Munnings in race 8, and La Waun in race 9. Laprida’s 45 wins at the meet are good for seventh place in the 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.