Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: May 4
Chub Wagon won the Unique Bella Stakes at Parx easily. Photo: Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO.
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: GOLDEN CANDY. Thursday’s feature, a n/w3x allowance optional claiming race, went to Golden Candy, for trainer Anthony Pecoraro and jockey Carol Cedeno. As the 3.50-1 second choice in the nine-horse field, he rated right off the leaders early on, then moved four-wide in the stretch and wore them down late, winning by a length in a time of 57.18 seconds for five furlongs. He’s now won four of his last six races, with most of his recent success coming at Delaware Park. A. Delaperriere Stables LLC is the winning owner.
- SECOND STAR: CAROL CEDENO. Golden Candy’s victory was part of a three-win day for Cedeno. She won race 2 on heavy favorite Belle Tapisserie, for trainer Kieron Magee, and race 5 on Tappahannock, trained by Mark Reid. Through the season’s first two weeks, Cedeno leads the way in the jockey standings, with 10 wins.
- THIRD STAR: BENANDJOE. He handled his return to grass without too much trouble, winning a Maryland-bred n/w1x allowance on Saturday by 1 1/4 lengths. Charlie Marquez put him on the lead in the early stages of the 1 1/16-mile contest, then faced a challenge turning for home as Broker’s Reward drew alongside him. However, Benandjoe would not let him by, and he drew off again in the stretch. He covered the distance over the firm grass course in 1:44.19 for owner Philmor Racing Stable LLC and trainer Hugh McMahon.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: V.I.P. TICKET. Going into Saturday’s Confucius Say Stakes for West Virginia-breds, Penguin Power loomed as an overwhelming favorite. Making his second start of the year, he was the 0.50-1 favorite in the field of eight. After dueling on the pace, he backed up badly and finished sixth. V.I.P. Ticket, the second choice at 3.10-1, sat well off the contested pace early on, then moved three-wide on the final turn and took aim at the leaders. In the stretch, he chased down Mean Bean and got by him to win by 3/4 of a length. He covered seven furlongs over a fast track in 1:27.31. That was the first win of the year for his Maryland-bred 5-year-old, who has now earned $279,423. Gerald Almodovar had the mount for owners A.R.D. Racing Stable and trainer Jerry O’Dwyer.
- SECOND STAR: DOOR BUSTER. Saturday’s other stakes, the It’s Binn Too Long Stakes for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares, also saw an upset win. 15.70-1 shot Door Buster, who broke slowly, recovered quickly and closed sharply in the stretch to win by 1 1/4 lengths. She traveled 4 1/2 furlongs in 53.13 seconds, for her second career win. 1.70-1 Talent Expected raced wide on the pace and faded to fourth. The winner is owned by Jay Reese, trained by Ollie Figgins, and ridden by Denis Araujo.
- THIRD STAR: BE BE BOP. On Wednesday, this West Virginia-bred gelding took an open company allowance by 1 1/2 lengths, for his fifth win in a row. He rated right off early leader Kukulkan, then pounced on him and drew off easily, covering 4 1/2 furlongs in 52.68 seconds. He’s one of six horses in the country with at least five wins this season. He’s owned by James Wolf, trained by Anthony Farrior, and ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.
- FIRST STAR: CHUB WAGON. This Pennsylvania-bred rising star improved to 5-for-5 lifetime, as she won last Tuesday’s Unique Bella Stakes in dominant fashion. Sent away as the heavy 0.50-1 favorite in the five-horse field, she coasted on the lead and drew away to win by 7 1/2 lengths, being ridden out by Jomar Torres in the end. She covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.21, passing her first stakes test with flying colors. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see her in graded stakes company at some point this summer. She’s owned by Daniel Lopez and George Chestnut and trained by Guadalupe Preciado.
- SECOND STAR: WAIT FOR IT. One race later, Wait For It pulled the mild 7.80-1 upset in the Page McKenney Handicap. Anthony Nunez rated him just off a contested pace, sitting about three lengths off the pace in the opening quarter. Nunez angled him just a bit off the rail entering the stretch, but saved ground and charged through late for a one-length victory. He’s owned by Uptowncharlybrown LLC and trained by Ed Coletti.
- THIRD STAR: RUBEN SILVERA. Silvera is no stranger to success at Parx. He once again led the way among riders last week, winning nine races. He had a riding grand slam on Monday with four victories, three of which came on horses trained by Jamie Ness. Silvera has 72 wins at the Parx meet as of publication, with an impressive 25% win rate.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Saturday at Laurel for the first time in 14 years, with three mounts, including Roadster in the Polynesian.
Familiar foes – Golden Key, Aaron’s Tap and Hypothesis – meet in Saturday’s Last Enchantment S. at Charles Town, and juveniles meet in two other stakes.
Laki gave trainer Damon Dilodovico his first graded win in last year’s G3 De Francis Dash. He’ll try to defend that crown Saturday.
Roadster, winner of the 2019 Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, hasn’t won since and will try to get back on track in Saturday’s Polynesian S. at Laurel Park.
Fresh off a stakes win at Saratoga, Laurel-based Wondrwherecraigis will hunt bigger game in Saturday’s G3 De Francis Dash on his home track.
Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…