Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: April 27
Completed Pass was one of two stakes winners for Claudio Gonzalez on Saturday at Pimlico. Photo: Allison Janezic
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: CLAUDIO GONZALEZ. Gonzalez won a pair of stakes races on Saturday’s loaded card. He won the Weber City Miss Stakes in an upset with Miss Leslie, who won at 9/1. She recovered from a slow start to close down the stretch and get up for a 1 1/2-length win under J.D. Acosta. In the King Leatherbury Stakes, he won with Completed Pass, who chased down pacesetting Francatelli to win by 3/4 of a length in his first start of the year. Angel Cruz had the winning mount. Gonzalez and Miguel Vera each won four races opening weekend, to tie for the early lead in the trainer standings.
- SECOND STAR: THE REDS. Although he did not cross the wire first, The Reds was the winner of Saturday’s Federico Tesio Stakes via disqualification. He battled in the stretch with Hugh McMahon-trained Excellerator, who drifted out several paths in the stretch. Excellerator finished ahead of The Reds by a head, but the judges determined that Excellerator’s drifting cost his rival the win, and disqualified him to second. The Reds is owned by Flanagan Racing, trained by John Kimmel, and was ridden by Victor Carrasco.
- THIRD STAR: FOREST BOYCE. Sidelined with a shoulder injury since late February, Boyce returned to the winner’s circle on Friday’s card, guiding Booyakasha to victory for trainer Mike Geralis. That was her third win of the year, and her first since February 7. On Saturday, Boyce finished third in the Dahlia Stakes on Vigilantes Way and third in the Henry Clark Stakes with Dreams of Tomorrow, both Shug McGaughey trainees.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- Racing at Charles Town did not occur this past week, to allow for scheduled track maintenance. Live racing will resume on Wednesday, April 28.
- FIRST STAR: GLORY DIA. This 4-year-old filly was extremely impressive in winning Monday’s feature, a n/w1x allowance at six furlongs on dirt. As the 7/2 second choice, she crushed the field by 12 3/4 lengths, running the distance in a sharp 1:09.49. That was far and away a career-best performance from this filly, who improved to 2-for-17 lifetime with earnings of more than $93,000. She’s owned by The Hakim’s Stable LLC, trained by Mario Dominguez, and was ridden by Angel Castillo.
- SECOND STAR: MAGIC MICHAEL. Wednesday’s feature, a n/w1x allowance at a mile and seventy yards on dirt, went to this Jamie Ness trainee by 4 1/2 lengths. He sat in fourth place early on, while rating off the rail, then moved three-wide after the leaders as they turned for home. In the last eighth, Magic Michael pulled clear for an impressive victory, stopping the clock in 1:44.26. This Aqueduct shipper is owned by Morris Kernan and ridden by Frankie Pennington.
- THIRD STAR: FRANKIE PENNINGTON. Pennington led the way among Parx jockeys last week, with six winners. In addition to his victory with Magic Michael, he had a win earlier on the Wednesday card, a riding hat trick on Tuesday, and a win on Monday. Pennington’s 46 victories are good for second in the rider standings, behind Ruben Silvera.
LATEST RACING NEWS
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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…
In a half-dozen Laurel Park stakes, riders Angel Cruz and Jevian Toledo, trainer Jerry Robb and Brittany Russell, and stallion Munnings all had two winners.
Trainer Brittany Russell didn’t run what is probably her best three-year-old Saturday at Laurel, but she still swept the two sophomore stakes on the card.
Well-bet favorites labored home third in a pair of Maryland-bred stakes, while Plot the Dots and Award Wanted were easy winners.
Young trainer Phil Capuano, with three wins in his first 11 starts, seeks his first stakes win with Alwaysinahurry in Saturday’s Fire Plug at Laurel Park.