Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: June 15
Chub Wagon (left) outfought Hello Beautiful to win the Shine Again. Photo by 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 STAR: CHUB WAGON. This Pennsylvania-bred sensation improved to 7-for-7 lifetime with a thrilling win in Sunday’s Shine Again Stakes. Sent off as the 0.50-1 favorite, she rated off pace-setting Hello Beautiful early on. In the stretch, Hello Beautiful remained control, but Chub Wagon was angled off the rail and took her shot. The two fillies battled down the stretch, but Chub Wagon eventually got by Hello Beautiful and won by a neck. Her last three wins have come in stakes races. It wouldn’t be surprising to see her tackle graded stakes company next. She’s owned by Daniel Lopez and George Chestnut, trained by Guadalupe Preciado, and ridden by Jomar Torres.
- SECOND STAR: STREET LUTE. One race later, Street Lute bounced back with a half-length win in the Stormy Blues Stakes. Originally scheduled for the grass, it was moved to dirt after more than an inch of rain hit Pimlico between Thursday and Friday, resulting in the cancellation of Friday’s card. Street Lute broke slowly in the five-furlong affair, and was 3 1/2 lengths back as they entered the stretch. Under strong urging from regular rider Xavier Perez, she got up late for a half-length win, her seventh career stakes victory. She’s owned by Lucky 7 Stables and trained by Jerry Robb.
- THIRD STAR: PIXELATE. In his last start, Pixelate was second in the Henry Clark Stakes after leading late. On Sunday, he finished the job as the favorite in the Prince George’s County Stakes. Joe Bravo gave him a great ground-saving ride in the 1 1/8-mile grass affair, rating on the inside just off the lead. In the stretch, he angled wide, then chased down Logical Myth for the one-length win. He’s owned by Godolphin LLC and trained by Mike Stidham.
CHARLES TOWN RACES
- FIRST STAR: STAR OF NIGHT. Saturday’s feature featured an exciting showdown between two West Virginia-bred champions. Star of Night, a three-time stakes winner in 2020, was 0.10-1 in her seasonal bow. Shutupn’kissme, last year’s champion West Virginia-bred 2-year-old filly, was the 4.10-1 second choice. Shutupn’kissme had the early lead in the seven furlong affair, but as they rounded the far turn, Star of Night loomed menacingly. As they turned for home, the 3-year-old filly had no response to her older rival, and Star of Night drew away in the stretch for an emphatic 2 1/2 length win. Shutupn’kissme held on for second, 10 1/2 lengths clear of third. The winner is owned by Huntertown Farm LLC, trained by Jeff Runco, and ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.
- SECOND STAR: ROCKET APPEAL. Earlier on the Saturday card, Rocket Appeal won a stretch battle to beat an open first-level allowance field by 3/4 of a length. Breaking from the inside post in a 4 1/2-furlong race, this West Virginia-bred gelding rated off the pace on the inside, then tracked down front-running Inspiring Justice in the stretch and got up in the last few strides. He’s won twice on the year from seven starts, with earnings of $50,573. He’s owned by Lester Thornton Jr, trained by Marshall Campbell, and ridden by Gustavo Larrosa.
- THIRD STAR: NICO. This West Virginia-bred 4-year-old was impressive in a state-bred allowance win on Thursday night, winning a 4 1/2-furlong race by 10 1/2 lengths. He briefly battled for the lead, then pulled clear on the turn and splashed away to an impressive score. In his seven-race career, he’s never been worse than second, with runner-up finishes in two stakes last year. This was his first win on the year, in his second start of the season. Antonio Lopez was in the saddle, for owner O’Sullivan Farms LLC and trainer Javier Contreras.
- FIRST STAR: MANDALOUN. The runner-up in the Kentucky Derby made his first start since the first Saturday in May in Sunday’s Pegasus Stakes. He had an awkward break, getting away as the last of five. He got back into contention as they moved up the backstretch, then rallied four-wide as they turned for home. Weyburn, the winner of the Withers Stakes, put up a good fight in the stretch, but Mandaloun held on for a neck win. He’s now won twice on the year from five starts, and looms as a serious contender in the Haskell on July 17. Florent Geroux had the ride for owner Juddmonte and trainer Brad Cox.
- SECOND STAR: INFORMATIVE. Saturday’s feature, the Salvator Mile, saw a staggering 79-1 upset. Informative, far and away the biggest longshot in the field of ten, came from the back of the pack to win by a length, getting up in the last few strides over odds-on favorite NY Traffic. This marked Informative’s third win from 25 starts, while his earnings increased to $240,290. Jose Ferrer had the winning mount, as he won his second graded stakes of the year. That’s the first time he’s done that since 2003. Trin-Brook Stables Inc is the winning owner, Uriah St. Lewis the winning trainer.
- THIRD STAR: JOSE FERRER. Ferrer had a big day on Saturday, with four victories. In addition to his win on Informative, he took race 3 on Nora Radd, for trainer Jose Delgado, race 12 on Mark Hoffman trainee U Know I B Lion, and race 13 on another Delgado horse, Pugilist. Ferrer has a meet-leading 16 wins so far, with a 29% win rate.
- FIRST STAR: XAVIER PEREZ. Perez earned a major career milestone last Monday. He won the sixth race on In the Loop, for his 1,000th career win. This gelding went gate-to-wire in a $20,000 claiming race, holding on by a nose for his fourth win of the year. Originally from Puerto Rico, Perez won his first race in 2007 at Charles Town, and has been a steady presence in the mid-Atlantic since then. Among those 1,000+ wins is a victory in the 2013 Ballerina Stakes with Dance to Bristol, for his first grade 1 win. This year, he’s won 38 races from 161 mounts, with earnings of more than $1.1 million. In the Loop is trained by Jerry Robb and owned by No Guts No Glory Farm and Gene Gould Jr.
- SECOND STAR: DREAM MARIE. The local prep for the Delaware Handicap, the Obeah Stakes, took place last Wednesday. Dream Marie earned her first career stakes win, pulling off an 8-1 upset in a last-to-first effort. With a five-wide move on the turn and strong handling from Joe Bravo, she wore down the pace setters to win by half a length, covering 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy track in 1:44.40. She’s owned by Miracle’s International Trading Inc and trained by Matthew Williams.
- THIRD STAR: SANDY LANE KITTEN. He made his six-year-old debut last Monday, in search of his fifth win in his last six starts. It was a successful search, as he won by half a length in gate-to-wire style. Angel Suarez put him on the early lead in the 1 1/16 mile grass contest, and he held on every step of the way, holding off a flurry of late rallies for the score. The winner is owned by Debra Katchel and trained by Richard Hendriks.
- FIRST STAR: GOLDEN CANDY. He improved to 2-for-2 on the year with a victory in last Monday’s feature, an open allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt. It was not an easy win, however. He had to grind hard in the stretch to get by Admiral Abe, who got the jump on him early and battled tenaciously. In the end, Golden Candy prevailed by a head. He’s now won seven times from 19 starts, with earnings of more than $315,000.
- SECOND STAR: LUIS RIVERA. Rivera had a big afternoon last Tuesday, with three victories. He swept the early double, winning race 1 on Nico Bree N Teej, for trainer Guadalupe Guerrero, and the 2nd race on Best Secret Kept, trained by Juan Vazquez, and race 5 on Elias Tapsas trainee Weekend in Court. As of June 15, Rivera had 18 wins from 162 starts at the meet.
- THIRD STAR: MARVALOUS MIKE. This Pennsylvania-bred 3-year-old won his third race in a row on Wednesday. He stalked the pace in the early stages of a six-furlong Pennsylvania-bred allowance race, and battled with pace-setter Strawberry Red and fellow stalker Wizky’s On the Bay in the stretch. Ultimately, Marvalous Mike held on for a half-length win, under jockey Abner Adorno. The winner is owned by Robert Roffey Jr and trained by Marya Montoya.
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