Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: February 17
Feargal Lynch won his first race of 2021 on Monday. Photo: Dottie Miller
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: FEARGAL LYNCH. After missing several months due to injury, Lynch returned a winner on Monday afternoon, guiding Nomo Ron to victory. It was Lynch’s first win since July 17 of last year. He was injured in a spill on July 23, and began his comeback on February 7. He’s had only two mounts this year, but is named on several horses this weekend, including some on Saturday’s stakes-packed card.
- SECOND STAR: NOMO RON. Lynch’s first win back came on this gelding, who was impressive in winning a n/w3x allowance optional claiming race. He had been impressive lately against lesser company, and was sent off as the 5/2 second choice in the field of five. In the early stages of the six furlong affair, he rated off the pace three-wide, then moved towards early leader Stroll Smokin entering the stretch. He pulled clear in the last eighth to win by 2 1/2 lengths, covering the six furlongs over a sloppy track in 1:10.45. James Wolf is the winning owner, Anthony Farrior the winning trainer.
- THIRD STAR: EXCELLORATOR. Friday’s co-feature, a n/w1x allowance optional claiming race for 3-year-olds, went to Excellerator. He rated at the back in the early stages of the six-furlong race, then moved strongly in the stretch and inhaled front-running The Wolfman for the win. He’s now won three races in a row, since breaking his maiden at Aqueduct in mid-December. Cheryl Baker is the winning owner, Michael Miceli the winning trainer, Sheldon Russell the winning jockey.
- HONORABLE MENTION: CLAUDIO GONZALEZ. Trainer Claudio Gonzalez won three times in two racing days at Laurel Park. The third of those, with Song of Honor (Alex Cintron up) winning a maiden claiming event, gave Gonzalez the 900th victory of his career. Gonzalez has won with 900 of 4,259 starters (21%) in a career that began in 2012.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: BOP MARLEY. Saturday night’s feature was a West Virginia-bred allowance race going seven furlongs. Doctor McCoy was sent off as the 1/1 favorite in the field of seven. However, with a sharp rally from the back of the pack, Bop Marley swooped the field for the victory. Antonio Lopez kept him in last early on, then made a dramatic five-wide move on the final turn. He crossed the wire 1 1/2 lengths in front, for his second career win. Javier Contreras is the winning owner and trainer.
- SECOND STAR: CHARITABLE SPENNY. Friday night’s feature looked like a layup for Shamrock Kid. He was sent off as the 2/5 favorite in the starter allowance contest, but faded to fourth. Charitable Spenny, a five-time winner at Charles Town last year, won his first race of 2021 at 20/1, making a strong rally from behind for the victory. He’s owned by T.W. Stables LLC, trained by Linda Dollinger-Stehr, and ridden by Javier Rivera.
- THIRD STAR: PEPPA STARR. This young West Virginian improved to 2-for-2 lifetime on Thursday night, winning an allowance race impressively. She battled for the lead in the early stages of the 4 1/2 furlong race, then dismissed her dueling partner and drew off to a 1 1/4-length win. She broke her maiden impressively here in November, and made her 3-year-old debut a winning one. Carlos Delgado had the winning mount, for owner Breeze Easy LLC and trainer Javier Contreras.
- FIRST STAR: EDWIN RIVERA. Rivera was the leading jockey during a very truncated racing week at Parx, winning three races on the Wednesday card. He took race 1 with Creedibility, for trainer Ron Dandy, race 7 on Douglas Nunn trainee Littlebitalilly, and the 11th race on Trappe Me Later, trained by Scott Lake. Rivera is tied for third in the jockey standings, with 13 wins so far.
- SECOND STAR: JAMIE NESS. Parx’s leading trainer pulled off a double on Wednesday. He won the third race with Boston Light, with Frankie Pennington in the saddle, then won the eighth race with Lake Chicot, teaming up with jockey Ruben Silvera. Ness’s 13 wins are the most among trainers at the current Parx meet.
- THIRD STAR: KING’S HOUSE. The Wednesday feature was a starter allowance race at 5 1/2 furlongs. Ten-year-old veteran King’s House got the job done, winning in an 8/1 upset. Jamie Rodriguez gave him a great trip rating off the leaders, then moved on the turn and opened up a two-length lead. He crossed the wire 1 1/4 lengths in front, for owner JX racing and trainer Patrick Ashton. King’s House has now won at least one race per year for five straight years.
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.