MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: MARCH 28
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 STARS: CLAUDIO GONZALEZ AND JEVIAN TOLEDO. Laurel wrapped up their winter meet on Sunday, and two familiar faces took home the trainer and jockey titles. Claudio Gonzalez won two races on Saturday’s card to clinch the training title. He won 26 races from 108 starters, three more than runner-up Jerry Robb. He’s now won 17 training titles there, and twelve of the last thirteen. Toledo had a comfortable advantage going into the final weekend. and ended up with 38 victories compared to the 29 of runner-up Jean Alvelo. He also won the title at the Laurel fall meet last year, and has been the leading rider in Maryland three times.
SECOND STAR: PLOT THE DOTS. One of Gonzalez’s winners this weekend was Plot the Dots, who won Saturday’s feature, a second-level allowance optional claiming race, by 1 1/4 lengths. He rated just off the pace early on, then moved three-wide in the stretch and drew off to victory, going 1 1/8 miles in 1:53.47. This Maryland-bred gelding has won five times in his career, with all of his victories coming at Laurel. It was his first win since last February. He’s owned by Danny Chen and was ridden by Kevin Gomez.
THIRD STAR: HOPE HAS A NAME. Friday’s feature race was a second-level allowance optional claiming sprint for fillies and mares at six furlongs. Hope Has a Name won by a half-length as the slight favorite, for her fourth win in her last six races. She raced wide throughout, but had enough late to rally and get up for the win over Deco Strong. Victor Carrasco had the winning mount for owners Chanceland Farm and Wayne Harrison and trainer Katherine Voss.
Charles Town Races
- Video: Ham Smith and Deborah Green talk Luna BelleLuna Belle has been the talk of Maryland racing in recent months and the top local Black-Eyed Susan hope. We catch up with her people.
FIRST STAR: FANCY CONCHO. This gray West Virginia-bred veteran, who won the 2022 West Virginia Lottery Breeders’ Classic Stakes, made his 2022 debut on Friday night, in a West Virginia-bred allowance optional claiming race. Sent off as the 11-10 favorite in the seven-furlong contest, he took control on the final turn and pulled away late to win by four lengths, going the distance in 1:26.42. He’s won seven times in 20 career starts, and has hit the exacta 17 times, with earnings of more than $212,000. He’s owned by Grams Racing Stable LLC, trained by Tim Grams, and ridden by Christian Hiraldo.
SECOND STAR: ANTHONY FARRIOR. Charles Town’s top trainer had a big night on Friday, with three winners. He paired up with Arnaldo Bocachica twice, taking race 3 with Doc Elm and the 6th race with Auburn Mill. In addition, he won the 2nd race with Azzurra, ridden by Denis Araujo. Farrior won a total of six races on the week, winning one on Wednesday and a pair on Saturday in addition to his Friday hat trick.
THIRD STAR: ARNALDO BOCACHICA. The top jockey at Charles Town was not to be outdone on Friday, with three wins of his own. In addition to his pair with Farrior, he won race 7 on Noballstwostrikes, trained by Jeff Runco. He won a total of seven races on the week. As usual, Bocachica is atop the riding standings at Charles Town, with 44 wins compared to the 35 of runner-up Marshall Mendez.
FIRST STARS: EXIT RIGHT. This Jamie Ness trainee improved to 4-for-4 on the year on Tuesday, albeit in dramatic fashion. He recovered from an awkward break to win a one-mile starter allowance race by a nose, getting up in the last jump with a furious closing rally. Ruben Silvera had the winning mount for owners Morris Kernan Jr, Yo Berbs, and Jagger Inc.
SECOND STAR: LULA’S ROADRUNNER. Monday’s feature event was a Pennsylvania-bred allowance race for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs. Lula’s Roadrunner, the slight 9-5 favorite, picked up her first win of the year. She chased down stretch leader Ms Canela and pulled clear late to win by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:20.30. She’s owned by Michael Moriarty, trained by Ron Dandy, and ridden by Edwin Rivera.
THIRD STAR: SKIPIN ON ORCHARD. On Wednesday, Skipin on Orchard made it two wins in a row with an exciting victory in a starter optional claiming race. He rated off the early pace, then fought on in the stretch with early leaders Ruby Bleu and Divine Miracle. Ultimately, Skipin on Orchard got up to win by a head, while Divine Miracle finished a nose ahead to Ruby Bleu for second. Skipin on Orchard traveled one mile and seventy yards in 1:46.17, for trainer Howard Brown Jr, who co-owns with Starcatcher Farm LLC, with Ruben Silvera in the saddle.
- Claudio Gonzalez and Jevian Toledo- Both continue to add to their credentials.
- Fancy Concho
- Plot the Dots
- 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.