RUNCO, RAIM, BOCA SWEEP WVBC 2YO RACES
The first two races on the October 9 West Virginia’s Breeders’ Classics program offered the two-year-olds a chance to display their talents in a pair of two-turn stakes. And the winners had much in common..
In the opening race on the card, the latest renewal of the $75,000 Vincent Moscarelli Memorial for two-year-olds going 6 1/2-furlongs, Run to Daylight, with Arnaldo Bocachica up, lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite by rallying from off the pace for a 2 1/4-length score over stablemate Amidships in 1:20.90.
A juvenile son of Runhappy trained by Jeff Runco for owner David Raim, Run to Daylight recorded his third victory in as many starts, In doing so, he impressed his jockey and owner with his ability to overcome a slow start and then shift gears when called upon.
“I was expecting him to break a little sharper than he did,” Bocachica said. “When he got away a step slow, I didn’t know how we would handle having the dirt kicked in his face. But he didn’t seem to mind that. When I asked him to run down the backside he started passing horses easily. For a minute I thought I had too much horse. That other one [Amidships] put up a fight turning for home.”
For Bocachica, it was a bit of an embarrassment of riches. He had ridden both Run to Daylight and Amidships in each of their prior two starts.
“It was a tough choice for me between this one and that one,” the rider said.
- Armando R over the top to win Small StakesOnetime claimer Armando R rallied outside to prevail in Saturday’s Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park for his second straight stakes win.
“When I talked to Jeff before the race, I thought this horse would be on the lead,” Raim said of Run to Daylight, a $60,000 yearling purchase who has now earned just shy of $100,000 in three triumphant starts. “I was a little surprised he was that far back early. But then he started passing horses down the backside, and he just went right by them. He’s a real nice horse. It’s fun watching him run because he just does it so easily. He really seems like he’s going to be really good. I’m guessing that he might get a little break now.”
Raim and Runco weren’t done visiting the winner’s circle.
One race later in the $75,000 West Virginia Triple Crown Nutrition BC for two-year-old fillies, The Sky Is Falling (Bocachica) rallied from midpack, overhauled 1-5 favorite Fancy Her Up in the lane, and powered to a 1 ½-length score over O K Smarty Pants by getting the distance in 1:22.18. Fancy Her Up held third.
A juvenile daughter of Cupid trained by Runco for Raim, The Sky Is Falling notched her second win from three tries and pushed her earnings past $54,000. It was The Sky Is Falling’s first try with blinkers on.
“As soon as we put the blinkers on her, she’s been a completely different horse,” Runco said. “She had been training great all week. I thought she was coming into it as good as anybody. She didn’t want 4 1/2 [furlongs]. That was not her game. In the stakes she got pinned down along the rail, she hit the rail and she just never got into gear. Tonight she was really good. The blinkers and the added distance made the difference. She’s got the Eleanor Casey next month, but that’s probably about it.”
- Nick Sanna’s long journey to the winner’s circleLong before he owned horses, Nick Sanna had a job sweeping up after the races at Delaware Park. It’s been quite a journey.
“She trained great all week,” Bocachica said. “She had so much trouble in that 4 1/2 stakes. She hit the rail and she got pinned down inside by another horse and never had the chance to run. Tonight she was able to settle down early and then she really responded down the backside. I knew that I had the top two measured turning for home. I heard another horse behind me, but turning for home I knew she was going to be the winner.”