MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: APRIL 18
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: LUNA BELLE. This budding Maryland-bred superstar won her fifth consecutive stakes race on Saturday, as she took the Weber City Miss Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths. As usual, she rated well off the pace in the early stages, then moved to the leaders as they rounded the final turn. She took control without much urging from Denis Araujo, and crossed the wire in front as much the best at 1-10. She completed a sweep of all four stakes races for 3-year-old fillies at the Laurel winter and spring meets, adding on to wins in the Xtra Heat Stakes, the Wide Country Stakes, and the Beyond the Wire Stakes. She’s owned by Deborah Greene and Hamilton Smith, who also trains.
SECOND STAR: JOE. Mike Trombetta dominated the Federico Tesio Stakes on Saturday. His two entrants, Joe and Mr. Jefferson, hit the wire together. Joe rebounded nicely from a disappointing second-place finish in the Private Terms Stakes with a head victory. He rated just off the pace on the outside early on, hit the front in the stretch, and battled gamely towards the inside to hold off the challenge of his stablemate. The Tesio was a “win and you’re in” race for the May 21 Preakness Stakes, although Joe is not a Triple Crown nominee. He’s a homebred for the Elkstone Group LLC who was ridden by Victor Carrasco.
THIRD STAR: JEVIAN TOLEDO. Toledo picked up a hat trick on Saturday’s card, which included two stakes wins. He prevailed in race 5 on favored I’m Blushing, who won impressively for trainer Brittany Russell. Next up, in the Frank Y. Whiteley Stakes, Toledo guided Disco Pharoah to an impressive 3 1/4-length victory, for trainer Ray Handal. In the Heavenly Cause Stakes, Toledo completed the three-bagger with Pennybaker, who made her American debut a winning one by 6 3/4 lengths. Mike Stidham is the winning trainer. Toledo, who won the riding title at the Laurel meet, is off to a fast start at the spring stand. He’s won ten races from 31 starts, trailing only Jeiron Barbosa in the standings.
Charles Town Races
- Art Collector scores in G1 PegasusArt Collector drew off in the stretch for a dominant win at long odds in Saturday’s G1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.
FIRST STAR: COMBINATION. The feature at Charles Town on Wednesday night was a second-level allowance optional claiming race at seven furlongs. Combination won his second start in a row as the 2.30-1 second choice. He raced wide throughout, but nonetheless pulled clear in the stretch easily and won by two lengths. He went seven furlongs over a fast track in 1:25.90. He’s owned by Feebs Racing, trained by Jeff Runco, and ridden by Marshall Mendez.
SECOND STAR: BULL MEECHUM. Later on the Wednesday card, Bull Meechum won for the fourth time in his last five starts. He won an allowance contest by 4 1/4 lengths in gate-to-wire style as the 0.70-1 favorite. He broke in front and held on to the lead throughout. Arnaldo Bocachica had the mount for owner Conroy Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Anthony Farrior.
THIRD STAR: MISS WAVE. This West Virginia-bred mare added to an impressive campaign on Saturday night. She took an open first-level allowance race by two lengths, for her fourth win on the year from seven starts. After racing in the two-path most of the way, she opened up a clear lead in the stretch and held on to win at 6.50-1. She’s owned and trained by Ronney Brown and ridden by Carlos Lopez.
FIRST STARS: MISS DILLINGHAM. This Pensylvania-bred mare won for the third time in her last four starts last Tuesday, when she won a starter allowance race by 11 1/4 lengths. She broke on top and set the pace on the inside, then steadily pulled away from the others to take the one mile and 70-yard affair easily. Ruben Silvera had the winning mount for owners Madison Avenue Racing Stable Inc and Jagger Inc and trainer Jamie Ness.
SECOND STAR: AMERICAN UNITY. Ness sent out another winner on a hot streak on Wednesday, as American Unity picked up his fourth win in his last five races. He won a first-level allowance optional claiming race by half a length, following a determined stretch battle with Brett’s World. He improved to a 2-for-3 mark on the year, with earnings of just under $48,000. He’s owned by Morris Kernan Jr, Yo Berbs, and Jagger Inc, and was ridden by Frankie Pennington.
THIRD STAR: FLAT OUT FLYING. This Cal Lynch trainee shipped to Parx from Laurel and won a starter allowance race by two lengths on Monday. He came from just off the pace and won by two lengths under Jorge Ruiz. That was his first win of the year from four starts, and his eleventh career victory. He’s owned by Lynch Racing LLC.
- Luna Belle- Maryland-bred star continues her dominance.
- Jevian Toledo
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