MATCH Series shifts to Penn National Friday
Kaylasaurus and Prodigy Doll, one-two in the standings in their division after the first leg competition, are set to square off again as the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships Series (MATCH) returns to Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course Friday, June 17.
Penn National, a longtime MATCH Series partner, will offer two $100,000 six-furlong dirt stakes on the program: the Susquehanna Valley (Filly and Mare Sprint—Dirt division) and the Chocolatetown (3-Year-Olds and Up Sprint—Dirt division). First post time for the card is 6 p.m., with the MATCH Series stakes slated as races five and six.
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The second leg of the two turf divisions in the 2022 series was held at June 14 at Parx Racing, which this year is home to the fifth and final championship leg Oct. 3.
Kaylasaurus and Prodigy Gal finished first and second, respectively, in the April 23 Primonetta Stakes at Laurel Park to kick off this year’s series in their most recent starts. They are among the seven fillies and mares entered in the Susquehanna Valley.
Owned by Bush Racing Stable, Liberty House Racing, BlackRidge Stables and George Saufley, Kaylasaurus has won two stakes since being claimed for $25,000 last November at Penn National, where she is based with trainer Tim Kreiser. The 6-year-old Pennsylvania-bred mare by Munnings also finished a close fourth in the Grade III Barbara Fritchie Stakes at Laurel in February. Horacio Karamanos, who was aboard for her two stakes wins, is named to ride again.
Stakes-winning Prodigy Doll, owned by HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing and trained by Phil Schoenthal at Fair Hill, finished fifth in the Barbara Fritchie before her close second-place finish in the Primonetta. The 4-year-old Shanghai Bobby filly will be ridden again by Jevian Toledo.
Also entered in the Susquehanna Valley are C J I Phoenix Group and No Guts No Glory Farm’s Fille d’Esprit, a John Robb-trained stakes winner who has won eight of 16 starts and finished third in the Barbara Fritchie; and Runnymore Racing’s Cinnabunny, who won a Pennsylvania-bred stakes at Parx for trainer Cal Lynch before finishing behind second-place finisher Fille d’Esprit in the May 21 Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Eleven were entered in the Chocolatetown, and most are new to the MATCH Series. Morning-line favorite NY Traffic, owned by John Fanelli, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing LLC, Paul Braverman and Team Hanley, last raced in late April and easily won the six-furlong Affirmed Stakes for New York-breds at Belmont Park. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. and to be ridden by Edwin Gonzalez, NY Traffic, a 4-year-old Cross Traffic gelding, was multiple graded stakes-placed at 3 in 2021.
Pocket 3’s Racing’s Threes Over Deuces and Built Wright Stables’ Sir Alfred James both earned MATCH Series points after finishing third and sixth, respectively, in the Frank Y. Whiteley Stakes at Laurel in the first leg of the 3-Year-Olds and Up Sprint—Dirt division.
Threes Over Deuces, trained by Gary Capuano with Maclovio Enriquez Jr. named to ride, finished second in the Grade III Maryland Sprint Stakes at Pimlico in his last start. The 7-year-old Flat Out gelding has earned almost $600,000 on a record of seven wins, 14 seconds and nine thirds in 44 starts.
Sir Alfred James, trained by Norman Cash with Victor Carrasco set to come in for the mount, has earned more than $600,000. The 6-year-old Munnings gelding finished fourth in the Maryland Sprint and before that was fourth in the Grade I Churchill Downs Stakes.
Trainer Lynch entered Hope Jones and Isabelle DeTomaso’s homebred No Cents, who just missed in the May 22 John J. Reilly Handicap for New Jersey-breds at Monmouth Park in his first start since December 2020. The 4-year-old Goldencents Colt has four wins and two seconds in six starts—including two stakes victories—and will be ridden again by Jorge Ruiz.