Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: January 26
Bridging the Gap, shown here in September, won at Charles Town last Wednesday. 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: ALWAYS SUNSHINE. Going into Sunday’s feature, Always Sunshine hadn’t raced in more than a year. He shook off the rust pretty easily, winning a n/w3x allowance optional claiming field by 1 1/4 lengths. He rated off the speedy favorite, Stroll Smokin, keeping him honest through fast fractions. In the stretch, he wore down the early leader, and drew off for the win. He covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.91, for owner Stonehedge LLC, trainer Ed Allard, and jockey Carol Cedeno.
- SECOND STAR: BELLE TAPISSERIE. That win on Always Sunshine was Cedeno’s second win on a top sprinter this week. She also guided home Belle Tapisserie on Friday in a n/w2x contest. He stayed on the pace towards the inside, then angled out in the stretch to get after the other pacesetters. In the last eighth, he drew off from the others, coasting home 3 1/2 lengths in front. He improved to 2-for-2 in 2021 with that win, for owner/trainer Kieron Magee.
- THIRD STAR: DIXIE DRAWL. Saturday’s feature was a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race going long. Dixie Drawl won in dominant fashion, crushing the field by 9 1/4 lengths. He rated just off the pace early on, then moved wide and won going away, stopping the clock for 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.51.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: BRIDGING THE GAP. A two-time stakes winner at Charles Town in 2020, she made her 2021 debut a winning one on Wednesday night. She went off as the 6/5 second choice in the field of six, with Jeff Runco trainee Campy Cash sent off at 4/5 in pursuit of her third straight victory. Bridging the Gap got the jump on her rival, sitting in second early on, moving in the stretch to draw off late. She won by a decisive 3 3/4 lengths, with Campy Cash back in second. Reshawn Latchman had the winning mount, for owner/trainer John McKee.
- SECOND STAR: SOUND OFF. This gelding has quickly taken a liking to Charles Town. He won his fourth in a row over this track on Thursday night. He had to work for it, coming from off the pace and getting up in the last few jumps with a four-wide rally. The 1 1/16 mile distance is tied for the longest he’s gone during his winning streak, and his $2.40 mutuel is the lowest paid out in that time. He’s owned and trained by Michael Sandoval, and ridden by Fredy Peltroche.
- THIRD STAR: AMELIA BEDELIA. Parisian Diva was a huge favorite in Friday night’s feature, a West Virginia-bred allowance for fillies and mares going seven furlongs. However, after setting the pace, she weakened, and Amelia Bedelia stormed by in the stretch to win by 1 3/4 lengths for the 6/1 upset. She’s now won eight time in eighteen starts, with earnings of more than $184,000. David Raim is the winning owner, Jeff Runco the winning trainer, Arnaldo Bocachica the winning jockey.
- FIRST STAR: DEEP SEA. Monday’s feature, an open allowance going long, saw an 18/1 upset. Deep Sea, a 9-year-old last-out winner against weaker, came from behind to win by 3 1/2 lengths. He was last most of the way, then moved four-wide and was fourth by the time they turned for home. In the last eighth, he wore down favored Wait For It to win going away. The winner is owned by Cruz Racing Stable, trained by Jacinto Solis, and ridden by Rigo Sarmiento. That was Sarmiento’s first riding win of the year.
- SECOND STAR: I’M BUSY. Wednesday’s feature went to I’m Busy, who got up by a neck to win for the fourth time in his last five starts. Sent off as the 9/5 favorite in a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race going six furlongs, he stalked the pace most of the way, and got up in the stretch for a neck victory. The final time for the distance was 1:13.24. The tough trainer/jockey team of Jamie Ness and Ruben Silvera teamed up for the win, for owners Morris Kerman and Jagger Inc.
- THIRD STAR: JAMIE NESS. Parx’s top trainer had a great day on Tuesday, winning three of the last four races on the card. Frankie Pennington guided home Starinthemaking in race 7, crushing the field by 6 1/2 lengths. Ness and Pennington teamed up again in the 8th race, as Magic Michael cruised home for a 4 1/4-length win. In race 10, They Shot Sonny completed the hat trick for Ness, getting up for a 3/4-length victory. Ness won five races total last week, giving him a meet-leading eight wins on the season.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
Three-year-old Golden Key earned the first stakes win of his career, taking the Coin Collector at Charles Town in a frantic finish.
Chica Rabiosa, a filly by Imagining, won the first baby race of the year in Maryland, taking a maiden event at Pimlico Saturday.
While the top horses – Knicks Go and Street Lute – remain unchanged in the latest Top Midlantic-bred Poll, newcomers are making their presence felt.
More than two dozen runners, including graded stakes horses and runners from the Kentucky Oaks, are nominated to the G2 Black-Eyed Susan.
Jockey Carol Cedeno has won three straight Delaware Park riding titles and six of the last seven. A title this year would make her the first with seven.