MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: June 28
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: RUDY SANCHEZ-SOLOMON. Sanchez-Solomon has been having a career year so far, setting a new career high in earnings before the halfway point of the year. He had his best day of the year on Friday, with a four-win afternoon at Laurel Park. He won race 4 with Albertano, ridden by Yomar Ortiz, race 6 with Samui Sunset and jockey Victor Carrasco, the 8th race with Jevian Toledo and The Wolfman, and race 9 with Askin For a Baskin, ridden by Tais Lyapustina. Sanchez-Solomon also saddled runner-up Jimmy the Kid in that race. Through the first four weeks of the season, Sanchez-Solomon is in a three-way tie for second place with six wins, buoyed by his big day on Friday.
SECOND STAR: GENTLEMAN JOE. Sunday’s feature race featured a short but stout field of five going 1 1/16 miles on the dirt in a third-level allowance optional claiming race. Despite carrying an 0-for-6 record on the year, Gentleman Joe went off as the 6-5 favorite. He rewarded his backers with a 2 3/4-length win. He pressed Money Ride in the early stages, then took the lead and drew off as they entered the stretch. Will Humphrey had the winning mount for owner Built Wright Stables LLC and trainer Norman Cash.
THIRD STAR: MARGIE’S HEAVEN. Later on the Sunday card, Margie’s Heaven impressively won a second-level allowance optional claiming dirt sprint by four lengths in a 13-1 upset. She worked out a similar trip as Gentleman Joe, rating off the early pace and powering away late for a sharp win. Another Woman went off as the odds-on favorite following a win on Black-Eyed Susan day, but finished third after acting up before the race. Margie’s Heaven is a 5-year-old Maryland-bred mare owned by Sola Dei Gloria Stable, trained by Hugh McMahon, and ridden by Jean Alvelo.
FIRST STAR: MAMA G’S WISH. Jerry Robb had them surrounded in Wednesday’s Lewes Stakes. He had three of the six 3-year-old fillies entered in the six-furlong dash. Maryland-bred Mama G’s Wish won for the fifth time this year, chasing down stablemate Bandit’s Warrior on the lead and fending off Jamie Ness-trained Cashing Big Checks to win by a neck. She went six furlongs in 1:11.74 on a fast track. She was stakes-placed twice last year, but this was her first stakes victory. She’s a homebred for No Guts No Glory Farm, while Xavier Perez was in the saddle.
SECOND STAR: JAIME RODRIGUEZ. Delaware Park’s leading jockey won four races on the Friday program. He won a pair for Jamie Ness, taking race 1 aboard Romantic Comedy and race 7 with Shofar, who won in a match race. He also won the 2nd race with Green Growth, trained by Samuel Cronk, and race 8 aboard Antonio Machado-trained It Is What It Is. Rodriguez also turned in a natural hat trick on Thursday, and added three more winners on Saturday. Rodriguez has opened a solid lead in the jockey standings, with 29 wins from 104 mounts. That’s ten more than runner-up Carol Cedeno.
THIRD STAR: STRAIGHT SHOT. The Thursday feature went to Straight Shot, who won for the second time in a row and for the third time in his last six races. He won a second-level allowance optional claiming race by 2 1/2 lengths, after prompting the pace three-wide and moving to the front on the turn. He ran 5 1/2 furlongs over a sloppy track in 1:04.67, for owner J. R. Racing, trainer Jorge Delgado, and jockey Jose Batista.
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FIRST STAR: GIGGING. This Norman Cash trainee bounced back nicely from an off-the-board finish at Parx last out to win a second-level allowance optional claiming race by 1 3/4 lengths on Friday. He raced towards the inside off the pace most of the way, then moved on the final turn in the 6 1/2-furlong race while saving plenty of ground. He got up late and pulled away to win by 1 3/4 lengths, for his second victory of the year. He’s owned by Built Wright Stables LLC and ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.
SECOND STAR: CARLOS LOPEZ. Lopez pulled off a natural hat trick on Saturday, the middle win of which was his 100th career victory. He won two for Ronney Brown, taking race 5 with Frankee Merch and race 6 on Courageous Grace. He also won the 4th race on Hey Congrats, trained by Leandro Moreno-Barban. Lopez is in third place in the standings at the current meet, with 50 wins from 221 mounts.
THIRD STAR: THE SKY IS FALLING. This West Virginia-bred filly improved to 5-for-7 lifetime on Thursday, when she won an open first-level allowance race by 1 1/4 lengths. She enjoyed a good stalking trip under Arnaldo Bocachica and powered away to win easily as the 2.80-1 second choice. She went seven furlongs in 1:25.95 for owner David Raim and trainer Jeff Runco.
FIRST STAR: BOUT TIME. Fillies and mares met on Saturday for a 5 1/2-furlong grass dash in the Goldwood Stakes. Bout Time, making her stakes debut, sat the trip off the pace on the rail and got up to win by 2 1/4 lengths. She’s raced just five times, but has done a lot in her career so far, with three wins and earnings of more than $171,000. She’s owned by Belladonna Racing LLC, trained by Cherie DeVaux, and ridden by Angel Rodriguez.
SECOND STAR: FORT WASHINGTON. Peter Brant has won countless stakes races on grass this year, and he added another one on Sunday in the Tale of the Cat Stakes. Fort Washington, whom he co-owns with Allen Stable Inc, rallied four-wide in the stretch and got up to win by a half-length in a 10-1 upset. This 3-year-old colt was stakes-placed twice earlier in the year, but this was his first career stakes triumph. He’s trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Jorge Vargas Jr.
THIRD STAR: FAMISHED. Paco Lopez won three races on Saturday, including one on Famished in a second-level allowance optional claiming race. This Ontario-bred gelding took the lead at the top of the stretch and won by 2 1/2 lengths despite drifting out. He’s now won twice on the year from eight starts, while earning more than $83,000. He’s owned by Paradise Farms Corp. and trained by Pat Quick.
FIRST STAR: FORTHELUVOFBOURBON. Off a win in the Page McKenney Handicap last out, this Pennsylvania-bred gelding dropped into an open allowance race last Tuesday going 6 1/2 furlongs. He opened up in the stretch and held off the late rally of Yodel E.A. Who to win by a neck, for his third win in his last four starts. He’s owned by Smart Angle LLP, trained by Michael Pino, and ridden by Kendrick Carmouche.
SECOND STAR: TOO BOSS. Carmouche also won last Monday’s feature, as Too Boss scored in an open allowance race by 6 1/4 lengths. He was pressed on the pace in the early stages of the one mile, 70 yard affair, including pressure from rivals on both sides. However, he fended off all challenges and drew off for an impressive win. He’s owned by Michael Cascio and trained by Todd Pletcher.
THIRD STAR: V.I.P. CODE. Earlier on the Monday card, V.I.P. Code made it three wins in a row by winning a starter allowance race by 1 3/4 lengths. After rating near the pace in the one mile and 70 yard grass contest, he closed sharply in the stretch and won going away. Ruben Silvera had the winning mount for owners Jagger Inc and James Wolf and trainer Jamie Ness.
- Rudy Sanchez-Solomon. Quite the day at Laurel on Friday.
- Bout Time
- Gentleman Joe
- Trevor McCarthy hoping for progress at racing “Super Bowl”Trevor and Katie (Davis) McCarthy, longtime Mid-Atlantic stalwarts, are focused on growing new roots, in New York, as Trevor rides his first Saratoga meet.