Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: February 23
Share the Ride won the General George at Laurel last 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 STARS: HIBISCUS PUNCH AND SHARE THE RIDE. Saturday’s co-features, the Runhappy Barbara Fritchie Stakes and the General George Stakes, saw an upset and a logical result, respectively. In the Fritchie, 2/5 favorite Hello Beautiful was a non-threatening fifth, while 41/1 Hibiscus Punch drew off to an impressive 2 1/2 length win. That victory marked the first graded stakes win in the career of trainer Justin Nixon, while jockey Horacio Karamanos got his second win in the Fritchie. In the General George, 4/1 Share the Ride prompted the pace, then kicked away in the stretch to win by two lengths. That victory gave trainer Miguel Penaloza and jockey Victor Carrasco their first graded stakes victories.
- SECOND STAR: STREET LUTE. The star of the Maryland-bred 3-year-old crop so far, Street Lute won her sixth stakes race on Saturday, taking the Wide Country Stakes by a length. After rating off the pace, she made her move entering the stretch, drew clear, then held off the late rally of Fraudulent Charge for the victory. Street Lute has now won her last five races, with this race her second victory at seven furlongs. Xavier Perez had the mount, for owner Lucky 7 Stables and trainer Jerry Robb.
- THIRD STAR: SHELDON RUSSELL. One of Laurel’s leading jockeys won two stakes on Saturday. He began the day with a win in the Miracle Wood Stakes on Maythehorsebwithu, trained by his wife Brittany. In the very next race, the John B. Campbell Stakes, he came from behind to win on the New York invader Bankit, for trainer Steve Asmussen. Russell is in second in the rider standings, with 18 wins.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: SUPER GARNER. He blew away a West Virginia-bred field of allowance horses on Wednesday night, crushing them by seven furlongs. Arnaldo Bocachica sent him to the lead from the inside post in the early stages of the seven-furlong contest. From there, he drew off and left the rest in the dust. He’s now 2-for-3 in 2021, having also won his race prior. He’s owned by Dunham Thoroughbreds and KCMH Racing LLC, and trained by Bernard Dunham.
- SECOND STAR: FREDY PELTROCHE. Peltroche was a perfect 3-for-3 with his rides on Wednesday. He won two races for trainer Ronney Brown, taking race 1 with Golden Key and race 3 aboard The Predictor. He capped off the hat trick in race 6, on Tim Grams trainee Our Diamond Girl. Peltroche is third in the jockey standings right now, with 24 victories.
- THIRD STAR: OUR DIAMOND GIRL. Our Diamond Girl’s Wednesday night win was an upset. Gandhi’s Castle was the favorite in the allowance field of fillies and mares, off a last-out win. While that rival opened up a clear lead early on in the 4 1/2-furlong race, she quickly tired, and Our Diamond Girl was there to pick up the pieces and draw away to a 4-length win. Grams is the winning owner, as well as winning trainer.
- FIRST STAR: MADAM MEENA. This Pennsylvania-bred filly was the heavy favorite in Monday’s feature, a n/w2x allowance optional claiming sprint for fillies and mares. She lived up to the hype, prevailing by an impressive 7 1/4 lengths. Early on, she dueled on the lead with Trunk of Money, and continued her tussle with that rival entering the stretch. Trunk of Money then began to tire, and Madam Meena kept going, cruising under the wire in 1:09.77 for six furlongs. She’s owned by Michael Cox, trained by Jamie Ness, and ridden by Jamie Rodriguez.
- SECOND STAR: BREEZY GUST. Wednesday’s featured event was a n/w2x allowance optional claiming sprint for the boys, and was won by Breezy Gust, who caught a lucky break. He dueled with favored Knockout Kick in the early stages, and was still battling with that rival, along with Dancing Bull, on the turn. However, Knockout Kick bolted on the turn, and Dancing Bull began to tire. Breezy Gust then began to draw away for a 5-length score. Jomar Torres had the winning mount, for owners John Fanelli and Long Ball Stable and trainer Daniel Velazquez.
- THIRD STAR: JOSEPH TAYLOR. One of Parx’s leading trainers, Taylor won three races on the Monday card. He began his day with a win in race 3, winning with She’smyrisenstar, with Frankie Pennington in the saddle. The speedy Fix Me a Sandwich won race 6 with Mychel Sanchez aboard, giving Taylor a training double. He completed the hat trick in the 11th race with 18/1 Jones Taxi. Angel Castillo was up. Taylor is now tied for second in the trainer standings with Scott Lake. They have nine wins apiece.
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Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
Last out stakes winners Street Lute and Maythehorsebwithu are among the nominees for several Laurel Park stakes scheduled for March.
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Madam Meena beat Grade 3 winner Victim of Love in Laurel Park’s feature to lead a big day for trainer Jamie Ness, who won twice and claimed a G2 winner.
Friday’s Stronach 5 cross-country Pick 5 features two races from Laurel Park, one of which includes the return of Grade 3 winner Victim of Love.
Which jockeys and trainers at Parx Racing have been hot during the first part of 2021? The answers are within…