Plenty of racing action took place throughout the Mid-Atlantic this past week.

Here’s a look at the “three stars” of each track:

Laurel Park

Isaac Castillo
Jockey Isaac Castillo won six times at Monmouth on July 2. Photo by Bill Denver/EQUI-Photo.

FIRST STAR: SHELDON RUSSELL. After almost ten months on the sidelines, Sheldon Russell, one of the top jockeys in Maryland, returned to the saddle a winner on Friday’s card. Riding a first-time starter for his wife, trainer Brittany Russell, Sheldon piloted favored Heldish to a 2 1/4-length victory. The race marked Russell’s first mount since September 9 of last year, when he suffered a Lisfranc injury. This was followed by a broken collarbone in April. However, Russell is back on the saddle and appears primed for a great summer in the mid-Atlantic.

SECOND STAR: OLD HOMESTEAD. Laurel hosted a pair of stakes races on Saturday’s card. The co-featured Concern Stakes went to Old Homestead, in a nice rebound effort from his off-the-board performance in the Chick Lang Stakes. He dueled in the two-path off Scaramouche early on, then opened up in the stretch and held on to win by a length. It’s his second career stakes win, following a victory in the Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland in April. He’s a homebred for owners Marablue Farm LLC and Pegasus Stud LLC, trained by Brett Brinkman, and ridden by Charlie Marquez.

THIRD STAR: HYBRID ECLIPSE. One race prior, Hybrid Eclipse earned her first stakes win with a 3 3/4-length victory in the Caesar’s Wish Stakes. She went off as the 5-2 second choice behind favored The Grass is Blue, and dueled with that rival in the early stages of the one-mile contest. She opened up as they turned for home down the long one-mile stretch, and held sway for the win. Jevian Toledo had the winning ride for owner Magic Oaks and trainer Brittany Russell.

Delaware Park

FIRST STAR: MIDNIGHT STROLL. Delaware Park featured four stakes races on Saturday. The Grade 3 Delaware Oaks served as the headliner, and was won by Midnight Stroll. She made a three-wide move at the top of the stretch, and moved to engage with favored Shotgun Hottie as they charged down the Delaware Park stretch. Midnight Stroll, bouncing back off a ninth-place effort in the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, ultimately prevailed by a head, for her second career stakes win. Eric Cancel had the winning mount for owners Gatsas Stables, R.A. Hill Stable and Steven Schoenfeld, and trainer John Terranova.

SECOND STAR: WHERESHETOLDMETOGO. Maryland-bred sprinters had a big day on Saturday. They won three open stakes races at three different tracks. The first winner was Whereshetoldmetogo, a Brittany Russell trainee who won the Alapocas Run Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths after coming from just off the pace. It was his third win on the year from three starts, and his twelfth career stakes victory. His career earnings are approaching $1 million, just $105,000 shy of the seven-figure mark. He’s owned by Madaket Stables LLC, Ten Strike Racing, Michael Kisber, and BTR Racing Inc and was ridden by Jevian Toledo.

THIRD STAR: MAIN EVENT. The other graded stakes at Delaware on Saturday was the Grade 3 Kent Stakes, featuring 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the grass. Eric Cancel completed a sweep of the graded stakes on the day, as Main Event won in gate-to-wire fashion by 1 1/2 lengths. Elizar, with Trevor McCarthy aboard, finished second, making for a Cancel-McCarthy exacta in both graded events. The winner picked up his second stakes win of the year, for owner Harrell Ventures LLC and trainer George Weaver.

Charles Town Races

FIRST STAR: YOLO CHARLOTTE. This gray West Virginia-bred filly won for the second time this year on Saturday, and did so in impressive fashion. She won a WV-bred first-level allowance race by 8 1/2 lengths, doing so in impressive gate-to-wire style. She ran 6 1/2 furlongs in a sharp time of 1:19.73, to earn a career-best Equibase speed figure of 88. She’s owned by Hayden Noriega, trained by Stephen Lyster, and ridden by Wesley Ho.

SECOND STAR: STOWE ANGEL. Earlier on the card, Stowe Angel kicked off the Saturday proceedings with a victory in an open allowance race for fillies and mares. This West Virginia-bred 5-year-old prompted the pace and got by favored Moonlit Shadow late to win by a length. She covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:20.52, for owner David Raim, trainer Jeff Runco, and jockey Arnaldo Bocachica.

THIRD STAR: FULL MOON LOVER. On Friday, this 3-year-old daughter of Mosler made it three wins in a row with a three-quarter length win in a West Virginia-bred allowance race. She broke on top in the 4 1/2-furlong dash and held clear late for the win. She finished second in her first three starts, but since finding her way to the winner’s circle for the first time, the lightbulb has gone on. Carlos Lopez had the mount for trainer Ronney Brown, who co-owns with Nicole Brown.

Monmouth Park

FIRST STAR: ISAAC CASTILLO. Castillo had a career day on Saturday, riding six winners from twelve races on the card. He swept the early double, taking race 1 with Skillful, trained by Patricia Farro, and the 2nd race aboard Wild Mule, for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Castillo then rattled off four consecutive winners later in the card, taking race 7 with Mercury Head, for trainer Lindsay Schultz, race 8 aboard Coach Adams, another Hollendorfer trainee, the 9th race on Starting Over, for trainer Robert Falcone, and race 10 with Takeittocomittee, for trainer Rory Huston. The six-win day set a new career high for Castillo. He was unseated from his mount on Sunday and sustained a cervical injury that will keep him out of action for 2-3 weeks. Right now, he’s in second place in the rider standings, trailing only Paco Lopez.

SECOND STAR: EDIE MEENY MINY MO. This rising Maryland-bred star earned her first stakes win in determined fashion on Saturday, winning the Regret Stakes in a gutsy battle. She set the early pace under Paco Lopez, breaking well from the outside post and clearing to the lead. As they rounded the turn, the classy Kentucky invader Club Car drew alongside Edie Meeny Miny Mo and looked ready to roll by. However, Edie Meeny Miny Mo dug in and refused to let her rival by. She crossed the wire in front by a head, going six furlongs in 1:08.71. This marked the first stakes win for trainer Michelle Hemingway, who trains for owner Holly Hill Stables LLC.

THIRD STAR: GREEN UP. On Sunday, this Virginia-bred filly improved to 3-for-3 on the year with a 5 3/4-length victory in the Boiling Springs Stakes. After many years on grass, the race was switched to the dirt. Although seven fillies entered, only four went postward. Green Up set the early pace and turned away odds-on favorite Radio Days for an impressive win. It wouldn’t be surprising to see both Green Up and Radio Days in the Monmouth Oaks on July 31. The winner is owned by Team Valor, trained by Todd Pletcher, and ridden by Paco Lopez.

Parx Racing

FIRST STAR: CHUB WAGON. After a dominant 2021 campaign that saw her win six stakes races, Chub Wagon did not return to the races until last Monday, when she raced in the Power by Far Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds. She went off as the heavy 3-10 favorite, but appeared in jeopardy at the top of the stretch as she was struggling to catch up with early leader Hey Mamaluke. However, Chub Wagon got up late and won by three-quarters of a length, going five furlongs in 58 seconds. She’s owned by Daniel Lopez and George Chestnut, trained by Guadalupe Preciado, and ridden by Silvestre Gonzalez.

SECOND STAR: UNDERCOVER KITTY. Later on the card, 3-year-old Pennsylvania-breds went 1 1/16 miles in the Crowd Pleaser Stakes. Undercover Kitty cruised to a six-length win, setting the early pace and never looking back in an impressive performance. He’s now 1-for-1 in stakes company, for owner Runnymore Racing LLC, trainer Cal Lynch, and jockey Charlie Marquez.

THIRD STAR: DERBY HOUSE. On Tuesday, Derby House won his fifth in a row. He won a second-level allowance optional claiming race by 5 3/4 lengths. He rated in the middle of the pack early on, then moved to the lead on the far turn of the one mile and 70-yard contest and drew away to win. Abner Adorno was in the saddle for owner JKX Racing and trainer Penny Pearce.

Region’s Best

  1. Sheldon Russell- Made his return a winning one on Friday.
  2. Chub Wagon
  3. Midnight Stroll