MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: FEBRUARY 22
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: CORDMAKER. This Maryland-bred veteran had an excellent year in 2021, winning four stakes races. Despite an increasingly impressive resume, he did not have a graded stakes win on his resume prior to Saturday. That changed in the Grade 3 General George Stakes, which he won by 3/4 of a length. 48-1 longshot War Tocsin opened up a clear early lead and maintained his advantage entering the stretch, but Cordmaker, who rated off the lead on the rail, charged at him and took control late. Despite drifting out in the stretch, he managed to maintain his advantage. He went seven furlongs in 1:23.58, for Hillwood Stable LLC, Rodney Jenkins, and Victor Carrasco.
SECOND STAR: GLASS CEILING. One race earlier, New York shipper Glass Ceiling won her third race in a row, taking the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie Stakes as the odds-on favorite. She rated off early leader Jakarta in the two-path, then came at that rival in the stretch. Jakarta fought gamely on the lead, and locally-based Fille d’Esprit and Kaylasaurus also made strong bids for the lead, but Glass Ceiling had the upper hand on all of them late. She covered seven furlongs in 1:23.82, just a few ticks slower than Cordmaker. Charlton Baker trains the winner and co-owns with Michael Foster. Dylan Davis was the winning rider.
THIRD STARS: XAVIER PEREZ AND JERRY ROBB. The esteemed jockey/trainer combo won five races over the weekend, including three on Friday. They won race 1 with Fuhgeddaboutit, race 4 with Mama G’s Wish, and race 6 with California Bella. They had a chance to go a perfect 4-for-4, but finished second in race 8 with Jack Gave Back. They won twice on Sunday, scoring in the 2nd race with All For Love and in race 7 with the brilliantly fast Princess Kokachin. With about a month left in the winter meet, Robb has the lead in the trainer standings, while Perez is in fourth place in the rider standings.
Charles Town Races
- Deciding Vote is “aye” for MATCH Series titleDeciding Vote earned a narrow win in Monday’s Sal Debunda PTHA President’s Cup at Parx Racing to secure the 2022 MATCH Series title.
FIRST STAR: BEVERLY PARK. This Norman Cash trainee has already had a busy campaign, with three wins from six starts. He won that third race last Friday night, rallying from sixth to win a 4 1/2-furlong starter allowance contest going away. He went the distance in 51.80 seconds as the even-money favorite, with J.D. Acosta aboard. Built Wright Stables LLC is the winning owner.
SECOND STAR: MY BEST FRIEND. Thursday’s feature, a second-level allowance optional claiming race at 4 1/2 furlongs, went to My Best Friend, for her third win in her last four starts. Breaking from the inside post, Marshall Mendez sent his mount straight to the front and opened up a long early lead. No one had a chance of catching her from there, and she crossed the line three lengths in front in 52.56 seconds. My Best Friend is owned by John Fanelli and trained by Anthony Farrior.
THIRD STAR: FIBER AND EMILY. This West Virginia-bred veteran gelding won his second in row on Friday night. Facing five others in a conditioned allowance optional claiming contest at 6 1/2 furlongs, he went straight to the lead and held off the late rally of Opera Gold to win as the 11-10 favorite. He’s won eight times lifetime from 34 starts, with earnings of more than $200,000. He’s owned and trained by William Atkins and was ridden by Connie McKenzie.
FIRST STAR: JAMIE NESS. Parx’s leading trainer had an exceptionally good day last Tuesday, winning four races on the card. Ruben Silvera rode two of his winners, taking race 1 aboard She’s Got Game and race 10 with Kid d’Oro. Ness also teamed up with Frankie Pennington, winning race 3 with Hard Sting, and the 9th race, scoring with Mojovation for Jamie Ness. Ness has a commanding lead in the trainer standings, with twice as many wins so far as runner-up Louis Linder Jr.
SECOND STAR: FORTHELUVOFBOURBON. Second at this level last out, Fortheluvofbourbon was the odds-on 9-10 choice in the Wednesday feature, an open allowance at six furlongs. He enjoyed a great trip off the speedy Newstome, and made his way to the front once Newstome faded. In the stretch, Fortheluvofbourbon drew off easily to win by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:10.41. He’s won six times from sixteen lifetime starts. Kendrick Carmouche had the mount for owner Smart Angle LLP and trainer Michael Pino.
THIRD STAR: MOJOVATION. As noted above, Mojovation was one of Jamie Ness’s winners last Tuesday. He won the featured event, a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race, by three lengths with a big move from the back of the pack. He’s won twice on the year from three starts, having won against similar at Laurel Park in his prior race. He’s owned by Morris Kernan Jr and Jagger Inc.
- Cordmaker — Still going strong at 7yo
- Jerry Robb
- Jamie Ness
- BackTracks: The kingly Henry of NavarreIn today’s BackTracks, New Jersey-bred Henry of Navarre found Hall of Fame success on the racetrack and later played a more martial role.