Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: March 2
Madam Meena won at Laurel Park last Friday. Photo: Jim McCue/MJC
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: JERRY ROBB. One of Maryland’s top trainers, Robb pulled off a training hat trick on Saturday’s card. Two of those wins came with regular rider Xavier Perez. They teamed up to win race 4 with Keeper in Spite and race 7 with In the Loop. Robb completed the training triple in the 10th race, as Warm Sunny Breeze prevailed under Charlie Marquez, who also won three races on the day. Robb has thirteen wins at the current meet, placing him in a tie for third place.
- SECOND STAR: MADAM MEENA. This speedy filly had raced well at tracks all over the east coast, but had never run at Laurel prior to Friday. She made herself well-acquainted, as she impressively won a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race. As the 7/5 favorite, she applied pace pressure to longshot leader Cause I’m Edgy in the early stages, then inched closer as they moved to the top of the stretch. In the stretch, Madam Meena overtook her rival, and drew off to a three-length win. She’s now won two straight races, and an impressive nine of fifteen lifetime. She’s owned by Michael Cox, trained by Jamie Ness, and ridden by Johan Rosado.
- THIRD STAR: IN THE LOOP. One of Robb’s Saturday winners, In the Loop made it three wins in a row on Saturday, with an impressive n/w2x allowance optional claiming win. Perez hustled him to the lead from post eight, and established control through a sharp opening quarter of 22.19 seconds. Although he encountered some challenges entering the stretch, In the Loop brushed them off and won by 2 1/2 lengths. No Guts No Glory Farm and Gene Gould Jr are the co-owners.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: DENIS ARAUJO. Araujo was dominant on Saturday night, winning four of the eight races on the program. He started the night with a winner, taking race 1 on Ollie Figgins trainee Persevered. Race 3 saw him win with Executive Prize, for trainer Jennifer Johnson. The hat trick was completed in the sixth race, as he won on Carina for trainer Eddie Clouston. He got the grand slam one race later, as Party Life took race 7 for trainer Michael Jones Jr. Araujo is currently second in the Charles Town standings, with 30 wins.
- SECOND STAR: DARK TRICKS. Thursday’s feature race, a n/w2x allowance for fillies and mares at 4 1/2 furlongs, saw an upset. Christian Hiraldo put 13/1 Dark Tricks on the early lead, and opened up a clear advantage. Turning for home, Dark Tricks was six lengths in front. Although her rivals cut into her margin late, she still came home two lengths in front for the upset win. That’s her first win of 2021, and her first since last October. She’s owned and trained by James Locklear.
- THIRD STAR: ARNALDO BOCACHICA. Charles Town’s leading jockey won three races on the Wednesday night card. He teamed up with Anthony Farrior on two of those wins, prevailing with Lady Macho in race 4 and Be Be Bop in race 8. He also won Tiz Evan’s Honey in race 5, for trainer Kevin Joy. Bocachica won two more races later in the week, to extend his career total to 1,990 wins.
- FIRST STAR: ARCH CAT. With an easy win in Tuesday’s featured open allowance, Arch Cat improved to 2-for-2 in 2021. He rated off the pace in the early stages of the six-furlong contest, then moved strongly towards the lead and drew off late. He covered the six furlongs in 1:11.12 over a sloppy track. Abner Adorno had the mount, for owner Burns Thoroughbred Racing LLC and trainer Daniel Velazquez.
- SECOND STAR: EDWIN RIVERA. Rivera won two races on back-to-back days last week. He won race 2 Tuesday on Izzadora Bella, for trainer Michael Moore, and race 5 on I’m a Unicorn, trained by Scott Lake. On Wednesday, Rivera won the second race on another Lake trainee, Garban, and took race 5 aboard Your Pal, for trainer Jaime Bravo-Estrada. Rivera sits in second in the jockey standings, with 17 victories.
- THIRD STAR: MARKET MAVEN. This Pennsylvania-bred gelding made it two wins in a row on Tuesday, winning a n/w1x allowance optional claiming race by four lengths. Despite contending with light pace pressure on the front end, he drew off easily in the stretch, and won by four lengths. He’s owned by Gregory Gordon, trained by Penny Pearce, and was ridden by Dexter Haddock.
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