Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: December 29
Eres Tu wins the Allaire DuPont Distaff on Saturday. Photo: Jerry Dzierwinski.
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: CLAUDIO GONZALEZ. Gonzalez had a giant weekend. On Saturday, the star of his stable, Harpers First Ride, won the Native Dancer Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths, for his fourth stakes win of the year. That was Gonzalez’s second stakes win of the day; he also won the Anne Arundel County Stakes with Miss Leslie. On Sunday, Gonzalez clinched the fall meet training title, as Tayler’s Chrome won race 1 to give Gonzalez his 25th win of the meet. He’s been the leading trainer in Maryland four consecutive years.
- SECOND STAR: JEVIAN TOLEDO. Toledo also had a huge weekend. He guided home three winners on Saturday’s stakes-packed card. He won the Willa on the Move Stakes on the speedy favorite Dontletsweetfoolya, for trainer Lacey Gaudet. In the next race, the Dave’s Friend Stakes, he guided Whereshetoldmetogo to a come-from-behind win, for trainer Brittany Russell. That’s the second stakes win in a row for this Maryland-bred gelding. Toledo capped off his big afternoon in the Allaire DuPont Distaff, riding favored Eres Tu to a one-length win. The DuPont win marked the third graded stakes win in Toledo’s career. With one day to go in the Laurel fall meet, he remains within striking distance of leader Sheldon Russell. He has 39 wins, to Russell’s 42.
- THIRD STAR: STREET LUTE. This Maryland-bred filly wrapped up an excellent 2-year-old campaign on Saturday, with her fourth stakes win of the year. She took the Gin Talking Stakes by a nose, holding off the late surge of Fraudulent Charge. Her four stakes wins are the most of any 2-year-old in the country this year. She’s owned by Lucky 7 Stables, trained by John Robb, and ridden by Xavier Perez.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Racing at Charles Town will resume on Wednesday, January 6.
- FIRST STAR: KOAN. The feature of the week was an open allowance going long on Tuesday. Pennsylvania-bred Koan was an impressive winner, drawing off for a six-length victory. He got a good trip rating off loose leader Whistling Birds in the early stages. That rival faded, but Infuriated pounced first, and opened up a commanding advantage on the far turn. Koan remained patient off that leader, and wore down Infuriated in the stretch for the win. That’s Koan’s fourth win of the year, from eleven starts. He’s owned by FF Racing Stable, trained by Felix Flores-Coba, and ridden by Gerardo Milan.
- SECOND STAR: ANGEL CASTILLO. Castillo had a good day on Tuesday, with three victories. He came from off the pace to win race 2 on Mach Trial, for trainer Ron Abrams. Two races later, he won on Harold Wyner trainee Louie’s Wish, who sat a perfect trip. He completed the hat trick in race 7, guiding Run Happy Run to the win for trainer Michael Pino. Castillo’s 69 wins on the season are good for fourth place in the jockey standings, with three days to go.
- THIRD STAR: JAMIE NESS. The leading trainer at Parx, Ness is no stranger to hat tricks this year. He got another one on Wednesday. He teamed up with his usual go-to jockey, Ruben Silvera, for two of those wins. They won race 5 on Oldfashioned Club and race 8 with First Citizen. Ness also won a race with Frankie Pennington, as they scored in race 3 on Magic Michael.
LATEST RACING NEWS
The nominations for the Barbara Fritchie Stakes upcoming at Laurel Park include several local runners, among them last year’s show horse Fille d’Esprit.
C Z Rocket, a multiple graded stakes winner who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, tops 36 nominations to the G3 General George at Laurel.
Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
Bill Mott trainees ran one-two as Rocket Can won the Holy Bull Stakes on the road to the Kentucky Derby.
Trainer Michael Pino went 2-for-2 today at Parx Racing to reach 2,000 wins in a career which has seen his runners earn over $43 million.
Va-bred Repo Rocks dominated the field in Saturday’s Grade 3 Toboggan at Aqueduct, earning his and rider Andrew Wolfsont’s first graded win.