Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: January 5
Mychel Sanchez, shown winning on Pink Caddy in September, won the Parx riding title this year. Photo: Barbara Weidl/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: ALEX CRISPIN. Crispin had a breakout year in 2020, and kept the momentum going in the first weekend of 2021. On Saturday, he won three races on the nine-race card. He took race 2 on Paisley Singing, for trainer Charles Frock, race 6 on Mike Trombetta trainee Blue Sky Painter, and the 7th race on Feature Act, trained by Kieron Magee. Sunday, Crispin did one better, winning four races. He won his first two mounts of the day, taking race 2 on Cinconola, for trainer Anthony Pecoraro, and the 3rd race on another Trombetta horse, Xmasinthecity. He guided home big favorite McElmore Avenue in race 6, for trainer Mary Eppler, and wrapped up the grand slam in a gate-to-wire effort on Zabracadabra in race 8, trained by Gary Capuano. Crispin finished third in the standings at the Laurel fall meet, and has the early lead in the standings at the young winter meet, with eight victories.
- SECOND STAR: CAROL CEDENO. This mid-Atlantic veteran achieved a career milestone on Saturday, winning her 1,000th career race. She had to sweat it out a bit, as while her mount, Perpetrate, crossed the wire first in the n/w2L claiming contest, he drifted out in the stretch, and was subsequently the subject of an inquiry. However, her mount stayed up, and Cedeno achieved the milestone on the Miguel Vera trainee. Cedeno has done her best work at Delaware Park; she’s won the riding title there six times. Last year, she won 112 races total, clearing the century mark for the fourth time in her career.
- THIRD STAR: NOTTOWAY. The Saturday feature was a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race at 6 1/2 furlongs, and it was won in dominant fashion. Sent off at 4/1, Nottoway broke well from the inside post, and was rushed up to the lead. After setting a fast opening quarter of 22.12 seconds, Nottaway pulled clear around the far turn and powered away from the others in the stretch. He cruised under the line seven lengths in front, stopping the clock in 1:16.21. This was his first start since July 25, after a 2020 campaign where he started only twice. Johan Rosado was in the saddle, for owners Team Gaudet and Herman Braude and trainer Lacey Gaudet.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Racing at Charles Town will resume on Wednesday, January 6.
- FIRST STAR: KEITH JONES. An era came to an end at Parx on Wednesday, as Keith Jones called the final race in his more than three-decade tenure at Parx. Jones’s announcing career began at Garden State Park in 1985, and took over as the announcer at Parx, then known as Philadelphia Park, in 1987. He’s been the voice of Parx’s two biggest races, the Pennsylvania Derby and the Cotillion Stakes, for almost their entire history. In that time, he’s called horses such as Songbird, Havre de Grace, Blind Luck, Will Take Charge, California Chrome, Midnight Bisou, Ashado, Bayern, and more. Unbridledadventure won that final race, crushing a claiming field by almost ten lengths.
- SECOND STAR: MYCHEL SANCHEZ. With a three-win week, Sanchez wrapped up another riding title at Parx. He won 131 races from 624 mounts, good for a 21% clip. This is the first time Sanchez has won the title outright; last year, he tied with Frankie Pennington, with 146 wins. Ruben Silvera finished second, winning 115 races from 614 rides. He won five races in the meet’s final week, including three on Monday.
- THIRD STAR: JAMIE NESS. Ness blew the doors off the others in the training race. He won 109 races, more than double the total of runner-up Joseph Taylor. He added one win to his total last week, winning the fourth race on Tuesday with Early Entry.
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