Jungle Beast
Jungle Beast, shown winning the West Virginia Futurity, won his 2022 debut last week. Photo by Coady Photography.

Plenty of racing action took place throughout the Mid-Atlantic this past week.

Here’s a look at the “three stars” of each track:

Laurel Park

FIRST STAR: SHAKE EM LOOSE. The Heft Stakes winner bounced back from a disappointing performance in the Spectacular Bid Stakes on Sunday. He made a big five-wide move on the turn and drew off to win a first-level allowance optional claiming race by 3 3/4 lengths. Perhaps scared off by that last race, bettors sent him off at 6.70-1 in a field of ten betting interests. The final time for one mile was 1:38.65. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the Private Terms Stakes here on March 19. He’s owned by J R Sanchez Racing Stable, trained by Rodolfo Sanchez-Solomon, and ridden by Charlie Marquez.

SECOND STAR: GAMESTONKS. Saturday’s feature race was a first-level allowance optional claiming race for 3-year-old fillies going a mile. Gamestonks rebounded from a last-place finish in the Busanda Stakes with a two-length victory in 1:39.68. She rallied from last and made a strong move in the stretch to win going away. She’s now won three times in her last four races. Jevian Toledo had the winning mount for owners Designated Hitters Racing LLC and trainer Brittany Russell.

THIRD STAR: ACADIAN GIRL. This Maryland-bred 4-year-old filly has been in career-best form lately. She won a Maryland-bred allowance race on Friday by seven lengths, for her fifth win in her last eight starts. She got a great trip off early leader Mit Mazel, then took control once that rival tired and powered away to victory. She went 1 1/16 miles on a muddy track in 1:46.62, for owner Mark Lapidus LLC, trainer Emanuel Geralis, and jockey J.D. Acosta.

Charles Town Races

FIRST STAR: JUNGLE BEAST. Last year’s West Virginia Futurity winner made his 3-year-old debut a winning one last Friday, as he won a West Virginia-bred allowance race by a head. He dueled throughout with Road Party, but continued to battle while racing to the inside and got up to win, covering 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:20.51. He’s won three times from five starts in his career, with earnings of just under $100,000. O’Sullivan Farms LLC is the winning owner, Javier Contreras the winning trainer, and J.D. Acosta the winning rider.

SECOND STAR: NO CHANGE. On Saturday, this West Virginia-bred gelding improved to 3-for-3 on the year with a second-level allowance optional claiming victory. He stalked the pace and drew off to win by 4 1/2 lengths as the 5-2 second choice. This stakes-placed gelding has won eight times from 18 starts lifetime, and has finished in the exacta thirteen times. Marshall Mendez had the winning mount for owner/trainer John McKee.

THIRD STAR: MY PRETTY EYES. McKee sent out another West Virginia-bred on a winning streak later on Saturday, when My Pretty Eyes handily won a first-level allowance race at 4 1/2 furlongs. After racing wide near the pace, she took control on the turn and powered away to a 3 1/4-length win in 53.23 seconds. She’s now won three consecutive races, including both of her starts this year. Reshawn Latchman had the winning mount.

Parx Racing

FIRST STAR: JAMIE NESS. Parx’s leading trainer had another good day last Wednesday, with three victories. He teamed up with Jaime Rodriguez on two of those races, taking race 6 with Crabs N Beer and race 9 with Olympic Romp. In between, he won race 7 with Glowing Star, with Ruben Silvera in the saddle. Going into this week, Ness has 25 winners, holding a commanding lead in the standings.

SECOND STAR: COBBLE ROAD. The President’s Day feature was a first-level allowance optional claiming race at one mile and seventy yards. Cobble Road pulled off a 19-1 upset after opening up a long, lonely early lead and hanging on late. Favored Roan Mountain rallied strongly late, but the wire came in time for Cobble Road. He’s owned by Club Risque Stable and Greg Quick, trained by Randy Allen, and ridden by Edwin Rivera.

THIRD STAR: ESPERNSITA. She improved to 3-for-3 lifetime last Monday, when she won a starter optional claiming race by 3 3/4 lengths. She stalked early leader Systemic Risk, moved after the lead on the turn, and drew off late to go 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.73. This Pennsylvania-bred filly is owned and trained by Ernesto Padilla-Preciado and ridden by Luis Rivera.

Region’s Best

  1. Shake Em Loose- Stakes winner bounced back in a big way.
  2. Jungle Beast
  3. Jamie Ness