MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: June 6
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: PLOT THE DOTS. A beautiful day of racing at Laurel Park on Saturday was headlined by a stakes-quality third-level allowance optional claiming race at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. Maryland-bred Plot the Dots won for the second time this year, rallying up the inside late to win by a neck over Gentleman Joe, who had a clear lead in the last eighth but was run down. All six of Plot the Dots’s career wins at Laurel, and he’s earned almost $300,000 lifetime. Angel Cruz had the mount for owner Danny Chen and trainer Claudio Gonzalez.
SECOND STAR: SPUN GLASS. The feature on Sunday was a third-level allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares going 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass. Making her second start of the year, Spun Glass rated in mid-pack early on and made a strong run towards the lead once she found clear sailing in the last eighth. From there, she seized control in the final yards and drew away to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Stablemate Can’t Buy Love rallied for second. The winner is owned by Larry Johnson, trained by Mike Trombetta, and ridden by Feargal Lynch.
THIRD STARS: JEIRON BARBOSA AND CLAUDIO GONZALEZ. Both Barbosa and Gonzalez had big days on Saturday, winning three races each. They teamed up twice, winning race 5 with Deshackled and race 9 with last year’s Maryland Million Nursery winner Buff Hello. Barbosa also won race 2 on Patriarch Artie, trained by Steven Krebs, while Gonzalez also won with the aforementioned Plot the Dots in the 7th race. Barbosa is tied for the lead in the rider standings early on with Feargal Lynch. They’ve each won four races. Gonzalez has opened up a comfortable early lead in the trainer standings. Dale Capuano was the only other trainer to win multiple races on opening weekend.
FIRST STAR: BE HERE. Shipping to Delaware off a win at Belmont Park last out, Be Here won a second-level allowance optional claiming race on the grass on Saturday as the odds-on choice. Breaking from the inside post position, he quickly made the early lead and was never seriously challenged on the front end as he cruised to a two-length win. Runner-up Olympic Romp cut into the margin late, but Be Here had plenty of distance to play with. He’s won four times from eight starts lifetime, for owner Augustin Stable and trainer Jonathan Thomas.
SECOND STAR: STATE CROWN. On Thursday, State Crown made her first start at Delaware a winning one, as she won a second-level allowance optional claiming contest by 2 3/4 lengths. After saving ground most of the way while racing on the inside, she angled into the two-path in the stretch and kicked clear late to win by 2 1/4 lengths. It was her third career victory, and her first one on grass. Angel Suarez had the winning mount for owner Live Oak Plantation and trainer Mike Trombetta.
THIRD STAR: FREE DANCER. He made it two wins in a row on Wednesday’s card, dominating a starter optional claiming field by 2 3/4 lengths. He broke on top in the five-furlong contest, and never gave up the lead. He won a claiming race at Penn National last out, and handled the jump in class easily. He’s owned by Jesus Suarez, trained by Jorge Maymo, and ridden by Jose Ferrer.
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: JAYJAYDEE. This Anthony Farrior trainee starter made it four wins on the year on Friday, taking a starter optional claiming race by half-length. The even-money favorite dueled on the inside with Prota early on, then established control as they rounded the third and final turn in the 1 1/16-mle affair. He pulled clear late, then held off the late challenge of Martin Man for the victory. He’s owned by Bush Racing Stable and was ridden by Marshall Mendez.
SECOND STAR: CANDY INVASION. On Thursday, this West Virginia-bred gelding made it two in a row, as he won a seven-furlong allowance race by 2 1/2 lengths in an impressive performance. He drafted in last place most of the way, but made a strong five-wide bid on the final turn and drew off to win as much the best. He’s a homebred for owner/trainer John Casey, while Jose Montano had the winning mount.
THIRD STAR: JAMMIN JIMTOWN. On Saturday, this 6-year-old gelding started the card with a 6 1/2-length win in a first-level allowance race. He rated off the early pace, then took charge from the embattled leader as they neared the three-quarter point. In the stretch, Jammin JImtown was never seriously challenged and cruised under the line. This race marked his first win of the year from seven starts. He covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.86 over a fast track, for owner A and B Racing Stable LLC, trainer Wade Sanderson, and jockey Victor Rodriguez.
FIRST STAR: PACO LOPEZ. Monmouth’s perennial leading rider had quite the start to his Sunday, winning the first five races of the day. All five winners came on the favorite. He won race 1 with Free to Fly, trained by Kathleen O’Connell, race 2 aboard Be Better, for trainer Todd Pletcher, the 3rd race on Gerald Bennett trainee R Love On the Run, race 4 on Call Bros, trained by Luis Carvajal, and the 5rh race aboard Edie Meeny Miny Mo, for trainer Michelle Hemingway. Lopez had three chances to get six winners on the day, but could not get it. Nonetheless, he has a comfortable lead in the jockey standings, winning 17 races from 70 mounts.
SECOND STAR: DRAFTED. Saturday’s Mr. Prospector Stakes was considered a wide-open affair, with all nine horses given a shot to win. Despite winning two graded stakes races earlier in the year, Drafted went off at 5.30-1. It proved a great price, as he came from behind to win by three-quarters of a length. He went six furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.52, for owners Dublin Fjord Stables LLC, Racepoint Stables, Kevin Hilbert, and Thomas O’Keefe, trainer David Duggan, and jockey Luis Rodriguez Castro.
THIRD STAR: I’M LISTENING. The Sunday feature was the Smart N Classy Handicap, showcasing Jersey-bred fillies going a mile on the dirt. Breaking from the outside post, I’m Listening raced wide in the early stages, then took the lead as they entered the stretch. She held off a consistent challenge from favored Mia’s Crusade to win by a half-length. That’s her second win of the year, following a victory in a starter allowance race at Gulfstream Park in March. She’s owned by Magic Stable LLC, trained by Claudio Gonzalez, and ridden by Angel Rodriguez.
FIRST STAR: RUBEN SILVERA. Parx’s leading jockey had a perfect day last Monday, winning four races from four mounts. He started the day with a victory in race 3 aboard Marianna Queen, for trainer John Dunn. He teamed up with Jamie Ness twice, taking the 8th race on Shofar and race 9 aboard Grit’n’grind. In the 10th race, Silvera completed the grand slam aboard Drillomatic, a Ron Abrams trainee. Silvera has 79 wins from 357 mounts on the year to lead all Parx riders.
SECOND STAR: SHOFAR. As noted above, one of Silvera’s wins on Monday came with Shofar, who won a starter allowance race on the grass by 1 1/4 lengths. He rated off the pace on the outside and came charging in the stretch to win his second consecutive start. He’s owned by Troy Johnson, Charles Lo, and Jagger Inc.
THIRD STAR: QUALITY CONTROL. On Tuesday, Quality Control improved to 2-for-2 on the year with a first-level allowance optional claiming victory. Under Victor Carrasco, she saved ground early on in the 1 1/16-mile grass contest, then angled a bit off the inside and kicked away to victory. She’s owned by Live Oak Plantation and trained by Mike Trombetta.
- Paco Lopez- Off to another strong start at Monmouth.
- Plot the Dots
- 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.