Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: December-15

by | Dec 15, 2021 | Breaking, Racing, Regionwide, Top Stories


Witty won last Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes in impressive fashion. Photo: Barbara Weidl/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:


  • Racing was cancelled at Laurel this past week, due to track issues. Racing is set to resume this Thursday.


  • FIRST STAR: TO THE FRONT. This 4-year-old has enjoyed a career year this season. Last Wednesday, he won a starter allowance race by a half-length, chasing down early leader Zaino Boyz to get up in the last few strides. He’s won seven times on the year from fifteen starts, and has finished in the top two in thirteen of his fifteen races this season. He’s owned by John Huber, trained by Anthony Farrior, and ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica. 
  • SECOND STAR: POWER FORWARD. Later on the Wednesday card, Power Forward bounced back from two disappointing stakes tries with a win in a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race. She took advantage of a contested early pace and stormed three-wide late to get up and win by a head. Bocachica teamed up with Jeff Runco on this winner; Coleswood Farm Inc is the winning owner. 
  • THIRD STAR: ARNALDO BOCACHICA. Bocachica turned a pair of hat tricks last week. In addition to his wins with To the Front and Power Forward on Wednesday, he won race 4 on Pete the Beast, another Runco trainee. On Friday night, he won three more races, taking race 1 on A Great Affair and race 3 aboard Out of Romance, both trained by Anthony Farrior, and race 7 on Runco-trained Amidships. 


  • FIRST STAR: WITTY. Last Tuesday’s feature was the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes, for 2-year-old Pennsylvania-breds. Witty, owned and bred by Elizabeth Merryman and making his stakes debut, crushed the field as the favorite, winning by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:26.44 for seven furlongs. He rated close to the pace early on, then made his move in the stretch and exploded away for the win. He’s trained by McLane Hendricks, who won his first race as a trainer in this spot, and ridden by Carol Cedeno.
  • SECOND STAR: MAGIC MICHAEL. No graded stakes winner in the country has won more races this year than Magic Michael. He won for the seventh time this year last Wednesday, making a last-to-first rally to win an open allowance race at a mile by a neck. Earlier in the year, he won the grade 3 Greenwood Cup at Parx. Frankie Pennington had the winning mount for owners Morris Kernan Jr, Yo Berbs, and Jagger Inc, and trainer Jamie Ness.
  • THIRD STAR: GLORY DIA. Last Tuesday’s feature was an open allowance race for sprinting fillies and mares. 5/2 third choice Glory Dia chased down loose early leader Hey Mamaluke and drew off in the stretch to win by 2 3/4 lengths, going 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.05. She’s now won four times on the year from ten starts. She’s owned by The Hakim’s Stable, trained by Mario Dominguez, and ridden by Angel Castillo.


About The Author

John Piassek

John Piassek has written about mid-Atlantic racing for The Racing Biz, Danonymous Racing, and his current website, the Daily Gallop. He graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2018 with a degree in marketing, and is a member of the inaugural Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program class of 2017. Find John on twitter: @theyreoff.

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