MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: JANUARY 19
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: SEMPER FI. The feature on a snowy Sunday at Laurel Park was a first-level allowance race at one mile. Semper Fi, making his first start since late October, chased down Bear Force Won down the stretch and won by a neck. He’s come in to his own lately, having won back-to-back races for the first time in his career. He also earned a lifetime-top Equibase figure of 112 in that race. He’s owned and trained by Mary Eppler and ridden by Kevin Gomez.
SECOND STAR: MI CLEOPATRA AND I. Earlier on the Sunday card, Mi Cleopatra and I made it four in a row with an impressive 6 1/2-length win in a starter optional claiming race. As the tepid favorite in the seven-horse field, she struck the front at the top of the lane and drew off easily down the long one-turn mile stretch. Luis Garcia had the mount for owner Abuelitas Racing Stables and trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Solomon.
THIRD STAR: GHOST MAIDEN. The dangerous trainer/jockey combo of Jerry Robb and Xavier Perez teamed up later on the Sunday card, as Ghost Maiden took a Maryland-bred allowance race for fillies and mares . She battled down the stretch with favorite and early leader Mit Mazel, but got the best of that rival late and won by 3/4 of a length. She’s won twice from nine starts, and finished in the top two six times. She’s owned by Sheffield Stable LLC.
Charles Town Races
FIRST STAR: STORM BOARDER. This gelding ended his 2021 season having won five in a row. He picked up right where he left off in his 2022 debut, taking an allowance optional claiming race on Wednesday night by 6 1/4 lengths. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, he battled briefly for the lead from post eight, but quickly established control and exploded around on the turn to win emphatically. He’s owned by Robert Cole Jr, trained by Kevin Patterson, and was ridden by Darius Thorpe.
SECOND STAR: PEPPA STAR. Thursday night’s feature was a West Virginia-bred allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares. Peppa Star, a newly-turned 4-year-old for owner Breeze Easy LLC and trained Javier Contreras. won by three-quarters of a length. She dueled with a longshot rival early, dispatched of that challenge, and held off the late rally of College Kid for the victory. Antonio Lopez had the winning mount.
THIRD STAR: TO THE FRONT. This Anthony Farrior-trained gelding was in good form for just about all of 2021, and started his 2022 season on a winning note on Saturday night with a 1 1/2-length starter allowance win. He shook off all challenges on the lead in the 4 1/2-furlong contest and drew off late for his fourth win in his last five races. Arnaldo Bocachica was up for owner John Huber.
- Set Piece scores in G2 Dinner PartySet Piece earned the second graded stakes win of his career in Saturday’s Grade 2 Dinner Party Stakes at Pimlico.
FIRST STAR: RUBEN SILVERA. Parx’s leading jockey in 2021 has started 2022 on a strong note, including a three-win day last Monday. He won a pair for Louis Linder Jr, taking race 1 on Peak of Chic and race 4 aboard Relentless Ruby. He polished off the hat trick in race 5 on Social Group, for trainer Michael Pino.
SECOND STAR: IT’S SO EASY. Later on Monday’s card, It’s So Easy made it look easy again, She crushed a n/w1x allowance field by 9 1/2 lengths, rating off the pace and drawing off in the stretch of the one mile and seventy yard affair. She’s also won five times in her last six races, with her lone defeat coming in a starter allowance race in May. Silver Trail Stables LLC is the winning owner, Guadalupe Preciado the winning trainer, and Mychel Sanchez the winning jockey.
THIRD STAR: BODE O. Wednesday’s feature was a n/w2L allowance optional claiming race at 6 1/2 furlongs. Bode O, under Nik Juarez, came from last to get up and win in the last few strides. He’s now won twice in his last three starts, for owner Richie’s World Stables LLC and trainer Juan Vazquez.
- BEST HORSE: STORM BOARDER.
- BEST JOCKEY: RUBEN SILVERA.
- BEST TRAINERS: LOUIS LINDER JR. AND MICHAEL PINO.
- The (almost) fabulous fillies of the PreaknessBefore Rachel Alexandra and Swiss Skydiver won the Preakness, these four fillies made a major impact on the Middle Jewel without winning it.