MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: may 31
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: EASTERN BAY. The feature race on the Saturday card was a stakes-quality allowance sprint going six furlongs. Eastern Bay, a Maryland-bred gelding who finished second in the 2020 DeFrancis Dash, was overlooked in the betting at 9.50-1. However, he rallied from last to get up and win for the 15th time in his career. He went six furlongs over a sun-soaked dirt track in 1:10.98, under WIlliam Humphrey for owner Built Wright Stables LLC and trainer Norman Cash. Karan’s Notion, the 2020 Maryland Million Sprint champion, finished second. He also went off at 9.50-1.
SECOND STAR: GOLDEN CAN. A crack field of Maryland-bred fillies and mares lined up in an allowance sprint on the grass on Thursday. 6-5 favorite Golden Can zoomed out to the early lead and never looked back, cruising to victory by 2 1/2 lengths. She stopped the clock for five furlongs in an impressive 57.22 seconds, for her fifth lifetime win and her first on the season from two starts. She’s owned by James Smith and Hassan Elamri, who also trains. Jevian Toledo had the winning mount.
THIRD STAR: PICTOR. This Pennsylvania-bred gelding won for the fourth time in six starts on Saturday, when he won a starter allowance sprint by 2 3/4 lengths. Under J.D. Acosta, the odds-on choice made a strong four-wide bid entering the stretch and drew away for a convincing victory. He won his previous three starts of the year at Penn National, and went unplaced in his two Maryland races earlier in the season at Laurel Park. He’s owned by Bush Racing Stable and trained by Tim Kreiser.
FIRST STAR: AMERICAN PATROL. The opening day of the Delaware Park card was headlined by the sixth race, an stakes-quality open allowance contest at a mile. American Patrol, who came into the race with a 3-for-5 record, added another notch in his belt with a sharp three-length victory. He raced no more than one path off the rail throughout, striking the lead on the final turn and drawing off impressively. He went the mile over a fast track in 1:36.53, for owners Nick Sanna Stables LLC and Lynch Racing LLC, trainer Cal Lynch, and jockey Charlie Marquez.
SECOND STAR: JAIME RODRIGUEZ. Delaware’s leading jockey last year started his 2022 season on the right foot. He won five races on opening week, including three winners on Thursday. He won race 3 on Regal Realm, trained by Jonathan Thomas, race 5 aboard Afandi, trained by Bernard Dunham, and the 6th race aboard Brittany Russell trainee Zen Master. Rodriguez is outpacing the rest of the riding colony so far by two wins.
THIRD STAR: TITAN’S WILL. On Saturday, a field of first-level allowance horses lined up for a one mile and 70-yard event. Titan’s Will picked up his third win of the year with a sharp 7 1/4-length win. He briefly prompted the pace, then drew away around the final turn and was not seriously challenged in the stretch. Angel Suarez had the winning mount for owner Lucia Rodriguez-Vera and trainer Andres Garibay.
Charles Town Races
- Charles Town picks and horses to watch: December 9We’ve got Charles Town picks and preview today as the track presents its Friday card!
FIRST STAR: BULL MEECHUM. Since returning to the races off a long layoff in December, Bull Meechum has been nearly unbeatable. He won for the fifth time in his last six starts on Wednesday night, taking an allowance race by 2 1/4 lengths as the 3-10 favorite. He was pressed on the pace in the early stages of the 4 1/2-furlong contest, but soon dismissed those challenges and drew off to a convincing win in 52.34 seconds. He’s owned by Conroy Thoroughbreds LLC, trained by Anthony Farrior, and ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.
SECOND STARS: ANTHONY FARRIOR AND ARNALDO BOCACHICA. This trainer/jockey team is dominant at Charles Town, and they teamed up to win five times last week, including a natural hat trick on Friday. They won race 2 with Mi Cleopatra and I, race 3 with Black Panda, and the 4th race with Jasontakeslong. Bocachica has won 88 races at the meet, leading runner-up Marshall Mendez by 19 wins. Farrior’s 77 wins have him well in front in the trainer standings; runner-up Ronney Brown has 51 victories.
THIRD STAR: ALPINE MOON. Starter allowance fillies and mares met in the fourth race on Saturday night. Alpine Moon rallied from last and won by three-quarters of a length in a solid 51.85 seconds for five furlongs. This is her second win from six starts on the year; she has not missed the board yet. Bearowitz LLC is the winning owner, Russell Davis the winning trainer, and Alisson Nunez the winning rider.
FIRST STAR: KENTUCKY GHOST. When he was last seen on the track, Kentucky Ghost was eased and vanned off in the Old Forester Turf Classic on the Kentucky Derby undercard. However, Vicki Oliver had him ready to go in time for Saturday’s Cliff Hanger Stakes, and he ran a huge race. After rating at the back of the pack, he made a strong four-wide bid for the lead and charged after the leaders in the stretch. He got up in the last few strides and won by a half-length, for his first stakes victory. He’s owned by BBN Racing LLC and ridden by Jorge Vargas Jr.
SECOND STAR: ISAAC CASTILLO. He had a huge day on Sunday, riding five winners from nine mounts. He teamed up with Greg Sacco twice, winning race 3 with Insatible and race 6 with King of Hollywood. He also won race 5, the Jersey Derby, with Fuerteventura, trained by Jonathan Thomas, race 9 with Love Again for trainer Michelle Hemingway, and the 12th race aboard Senate Chamber, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Castillo has nine wins from 36 starts, second in the standings behind Paco Lopez.
THIRD STAR: FUERTEVENTURA. As noted above, Fuerteventura won Sunday’s Jersey Derby by a head, in his first start against stakes company. He came from just off the pace and wore down the leaders in the stretch, including odds-on favorite Quality G. The winner had won two straight against softer at Gulfstream Park earlier in the year, but handled the jump in class without any trouble. He’s owned by Robert LaPenta and Brereton Jones.
FIRST STAR: YODEL E.A. WHO. The feature of last Monday’s card was an open allowance race at six furlongs. Yodel E.A. Who, the 3.60-1 third choice, made a wide rally from the back of the pack and got up to win by a half-length. That’s his first win of the year, and his eleventh win lifetime from 39 starts. Troy Johnson, Charles Lo, and Jagger Inc co-own the winner, while Jamie Ness was the winning trainer and Ruben Silvera was the winning pilot.
SECOND STAR: KING KUMBALAY. Second-level allowance optional claiming horses competed in Tuesday’s feature race going a mile and 70 yards. King Kumbalay, an up-and-coming Pennslyvania-bred gelding, rated off the pace and took charge rounding the final turn to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Despite drifting out in the stretch, he maintained a comfortable advantage throughout and crossed the wire clearly. He’s won five times from ten lifetime starts and has a 3-for-5 record this year. Luis Rodriguez Castro had the winning out, for owner Kingsport Farm and trainer David Duggan.
THIRD STAR: FRANKIE PENNINGTON. Pennington had a five-win week last week, including a hat trick on Tuesday. He won race 3 with Easy Day, trained by Scott Lake, the 8th race aboard Ms Canela, trained by Miguel Rodriguez, and race 9 on Flashing Diamond, trained by Jacinto Solis. Pennington is currently in third place in the rider standings, with 50 wins.
- Kentucky Ghost- Impressive in stakes victory at Monmouth.
- American Patrol.
- Isaac Castillo
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