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

Racing at Laurel Park. Photo by The Racing Biz.

FIRST STARS: D’RAPPER. Jamie Ness sent out a pair in Saturday’s feature race, a second-level allowance optional claiming contest. D’Rapper, the pacesetting half of the odds-on entry, set the early pace, withstood a challenge from Benandjoe rounding the turn, and held clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths. He improved to 2-for-2 on the year, and has now won 22 times from 60 starts. He’s owned by Troy Johnson and Jagger Inc and ridden by Jaime Rodriguez.

SECOND STAR: EASTERN BAY. Sunday’s feature was a second-level allowance optional claiming sprint at 5 1/2 furlongs. Maryland-bred veteran Eastern Bay won going away, rallying five-wide in the stretch and powering away to win by 3 1/2 lengths. He’s also 2-for-2 on the year, and has fourteen career wins with earnings of close to $600,000. His most notable moment came in the 2020 DeFrancis Dash, where he finished second by a nose. He’s owned by Robert Bone, trained by Claudio Gonzalez, and ridden by Mac Enriquez Jr.

THIRD STAR: CARIBBEAN. Earlier on the Saturday card, a competitive starter optional claiming field traveled 1 1/16 miles. Caribbean, one of two in the race for Lacey Gaudet, set the early pace and drew off late to win by 5 3/4 lengths. That was his first win of the year from four starts; he’s also hit the exacta two other times in the season. He’s owned by Team Gaudet and Now or Never Stable, and ridden by Jevian Toledo.

Charles Town Races

FIRST STAR: DECOUPAGE. Mama Tiger looked much the best on paper in Wednesday’s feature, a second-level allowance optional claiming race at seven furlongs. However, the odds-on favorite lost in a photo finish to Decoupage, who pulled off an 18-1 upset. Under Jean Alvelo, she went to the early lead and fended off the early pressure from Complete Surprise. Moma Tiger, who got a great trip, surged at the early leader, but Decoupage held on for the win. She’s owned by Wayward Farm and trained by Michael Gorham.

SECOND STAR: GOLDEN KEY. This West Virginia-bred earned his first win of his 4-year-old campaign on Friday. As the 1-5 favorite in a 4 1/2-furlong allowance race, he lived up to the hype, and saved many tickets in the mandatory rainbow pick 6, with a three-quarter length victory. He’s now won six times from 13 starts, and has never missed the board in his career. His biggest win to date came in last year’s Coin Collector Stakes. He’s owned and trained by Ronney Brown and was ridden by Carlos Lopez.

THIRD STAR: ARNALDO BOCACHICA. Bocachica added another hat trick to his credentials on Saturday, with three winners from four mounts. He rode home a pair for Anthony Farrior, taking race 3 with Roof Top Bar and the 5th race aboard China Cat. After finishing third in race 6, he got the job done in race 7 with Door Buster, for trainer Ollie Figgins III. Bocachica has 52 wins from 157 mounts so far on the year, ten more wins than runner-up Marshall Mendez.

Parx Racing

FIRST STARS: I AM REDEEMED. Last year’s Storm Cat Stakes winner made his 4-year-old debut last Tuesday in a second-level allowance optional claiming race. As the 11-10 favorite, this Penny Pearce-trained Pennsylvania-bred set the pace and won the one mile and 70-yard affair by 2 1/2 lengths. All ten of his starts have come at Parx; he’s won five times here with earnings of over $229,000. He’s owned by Larry Rebbecchi and ridden by Abner Adorno.

SECOND STAR: BRAZEN. Later on the Tuesday card, Brazen won his fourth race of the year when he took a starter allowance contest by a nose. He dueled with second choice Sevier most of the way, then had to deal with Sneakiness down the stretch. The two hit the line together, but Brazen got the bob, giving his backers a sweat at 1-5. Three of his wins have come at Parx; the other was at Penn National. He’s owned by James Aguilar-Jimenez, trained by Ralph Riviezzo, and was ridden by Dexter Haddock.

THIRD STAR: I’M THE TALENT. The feature on Wednesday was an open allowance sprint for fillies and mares. I’m the Talent won in a 22-1 upset, rating just off the pace and getting up to win by a half-length over Bold Confection, who was more than nine lengths clear of third. That was her first win since last November, and her sixth victory overall. Anthony Nunez had the mount for owner Aurora Vista LLC and trainer Scott Lake.

Region’s Best

  1. I Am Redeemed- Stakes winner returned with a flourish.
  2. D’Rapper
  3. Eastern Bay