MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: may 16
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: JEVIAN TOLEDO. One of Maryland’s top riders got off to a fast start at the Pimlico meet. He rode six winners from nine mounts, including wins on his first five horses of the season. He went a perfect 3-for-3 on Thursday, winning race 4 aboard Ultimate Irony for trainer Mike Stidham, race 7 on Brittany Russell trainee I’m Blushing, and race 8 aboard Silent Service, trained by Anthony Farrior. On Friday, he won two races with his only two mounts of the day, taking a pair for Russell: race 6 with Ultimate Irony and the 7th race on Call Me Plucky.
SECOND STAR: THE GRASS IS BLUE. Saturday’s feature race, a third-level allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares, was washed off the grass and moved to the main track. That suited The Grass is Blue just fine, who won her first race in almost a year by 2 3/4 lengths. Last year’s Busanda Stakes winner stalked a speed duel early on in the five-furlong contest and moved handily to the front in the stretch, covering the distance over a sloppy track in 57.73 seconds. She’s owned by Medallion Racing, Charles Deters, Parkland Thoroughbreds, and Mike Olszewski, trained by Graham Motion, and ridden by Jorge Ruiz.
THIRD STAR: FLY ME HOME. On Sunday, this Mike Stidham-trained filly won her second race in a row in impressive fashion. She won a first-level allowance race, washed off the grass to dirt, by 1 1/2 lengths in a sharp front-running performance. She went five furlongs in 57.69 seconds on a drying-out good track. Jevian Toledo had the mount for owner Kenneth Wheeler.
Charles Town Races
- Jockey Sheldon Russell “really close” to return to racesJockey Sheldon Russell, out with injuries for the last nine months, is “really close” to returning to the races, his agent said.
FIRST STAR: MATH MAN MARCO. On paper, Saturday’s Coin Collector Stakes looked like a slam dunk for Coastal Mission. Having finished second in the Spectacular Bid Stakes against open company two starts back, he was 1-5 to beat a field of West Virginia-breds. However, he could not chase down Math Man Marco, who opened up a long early lead and held on for a 4-1 upset. He’s won three times from five starts, with earnings of more than $89,000. He’s a homebred for owner Robert Cole, trained by Irving Velez, and ridden by Carlos Lopez.
SECOND STAR: BEVERLY PARK. This 5-year-old has had a busy campaign, with 14 starts already under his belt. He won his sixth race of the year on Thursday, winning a starter allowance race at 1-5 by 2 1/4 lengths. He quickly took the early lead in the seven-furlong contest, and drew off late for the win. Four of his wins this year have come at Charles Town, with one other one at Laurel Park and one at Mahoning Valley. Built Wright Stables LLC is the winning owner, Norman Cash the winning trainer, and J.D. Acosta the winning rider.
THIRD STAR: PRIMAL DESTINY. He looked like a big favorite on paper going into a starter allowance race on Friday, and he went postward as the 4-5 favorite. Breaking from post position one, he set the pace on the inside in the 4 1/2-furlong dash and won by 2 1/2 lengths. Last year, he made waves with an eight-race winning streak, and won for the first time this year here. Gerald Almodovar had the winning mount for owner Robert Cole and trainer Kevin Patterson.
FIRST STAR: DASH ATTACK. Originally scheduled as the opening day feature, the Long Branch Stakes was moved to this past Saturday after the opening day card was cancelled due to heavy rain and wind. Dash Attack, who won the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park on New Year’s Day, rebounded from a string of defeats with a game half-length win over favored Dean’s List. In the process, he gave jockey Samuel Marin his first American riding win. Kenny McPeek trains and co-owns the winner with Catalyst Stable, Kevin Pollard, and Patty Slevin.
SECOND STAR: ROYAL URN. Sunday’s John J. Reilly Handicap featured an all-star field of Jersey-breds going six furlongs. Royal Urn, who had not raced since finishing fifth in last year’s Reilly, pulled off a 17-1 upset. He moved four-wide on the turn and dueled down the stretch with No Cents, who was impressive as a 2-year-old in 2020 but had not raced in more than a year. The two dueled down the lane, but Royal Urn got the upper hand and won by a half-length. His half-brother Pickin Time, who went off as the favorite, was third. The winner has now won six times from 27 starts, with earnings of more than $345,000. Jose Gomez had the mount for owner Roseland Farm Stable and trainer Kelly Breen.
THIRD STAR: ALTA VELOCITA. The female version of the John J. Reilly, the Spruce Fir Handicap, was the co-feature on the Saturday card. Alta Velocita went off as the odds-on favorite, and delivered on her promise. She came up the inside late to win by a length, getting up late over longshot I’m Listening. She’s owned by Imaginary Stables and M3 Racing Stable, trained by Andrew Simoff, and ridden by Paco Lopez.
FIRST STAR: SEVIER. After three defeats to start his season, this 8-year-old gelding has begun to find his best stride. He won his second race in a row last Tuesday, as he won a starter allowance race by 2 3/4 lengths. Although he drifted out in the stretch, he was never in serious danger of getting caught, and covered six furlongs in 1:09.58. He’s won 22 times in his career from 56 starts, with earnings of almost $600,000. He’s owned by Morris Kernan Jr, Yo Berbs, and Jagger Inc, trained by Jamie Ness, and ridden by Frankie Pennington.
SECOND STAR: WE MISS SUSIE. Earlier on the Tuesday card, We Miss Susie won a second-level allowance optional claiming race by 1 1/2 lengths, for her first victory of the year. She got a great stalking trip under Paco Lopez and drew off in the last eighth to win as the 19-10 second choice. She spent the winter racing in Florida, and made her first career start at Parx a winning one. She’s owned by George Vires and trained by Jane Cibelli.
THIRD STAR: DILLY DILLY PHILLY. This Pennsylvania-bred mare has been on a tear lately, winning for the fifth time in seven starts this year last Tuesday. She was pressed on the lead early on, but pulled clear late and won a starter allowance race by three lengths as the 3-2 favorite. Ruben Silvera rode her for owners Madison Avenue Racing Stable Inc and trainer Jamie Ness.
- Dash Attack- Bounces back and gives Marin a milestone.
- Jevian Toledo
- Royal Urn
- BackTracks: Challedon, dominant in Maryland & beyondIn today’s BackTracks, Maryland-bred Challedon became the first two-time horse of the year after dominating 1939 and 1940.