MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: AUGUST 29
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: BREVIARY. Saturday’s Timonium Distaff was scratched down to just four runners, but the money was just as green for Breviary, who won in a 10-1 upset. She saved ground on the rail in the early stages of the 1 1/16 mile-contest, then moved to the lead in the three-path on the final turn while chasing pace-setter Malibu Beauty. That rival remained clear entering the stretch, but Breviary chased her down and got up to win by a half-length. This 5-year-old daughter of Super Ninety Nine has won five times from 14 starts this year, including three wins in her last four races, with earnings of over $155,087. She’s owned and trained by Mario Serey Jr and ridden by Grant Whitacre.
SECOND STAR: JEIRON BARBOSA. Maryland’s latest apprentice star had a great opening weekend, with six wins from 12 mounts. After winning the opening race of the meet on Drum and Bass, he went 0-for-4 the rest of Friday, but got into top form with five wins between Saturday and Sunday. On the year, Barbosa has won 85 wins from 532 starts with earnings of over $2.6 million.
THIRD STAR: PRIMAL DESTINY. On Sunday, Primal Destiny won for the fifth time this year from seven starts. After spending the year at Charles Town, he shipped to Maryland to compete on the Timonium bullring, and was the 1-2 choice in a four-furlong starter allowance race. He broke on top, opened up a clear lead, and drew away to win by 1 1/4 lengths, running the distance in 45.42 seconds. Carlos Lopez had the mount for owner Robert Cole Jr and trainer Kevin Patterson.
FIRST STAR: JAIME RODRIGUEZ. Delaware’s leading rider racked up four victories on Saturday’s card. He teamed up with Jamie Ness on three of them, winning race 2 with Young Turk, race 5 on Brummagem, and race 8 aboard Thorny Tale. In addition, he also won the 3rd race on Delight, for trainer Jonathan Thomas. Rodriguez’s 67 wins at the meet give him a commanding advantage in the jockey standings.
SECOND STAR: YODEL E.A. WHO. This Ness-trained 6-year-old gelding won for the second time this year on Saturday, as he won a third-level allowance optional claiming sprint by a head. Threes Over Deuces broke on top and led almost the whole way around. He remained clear as they came down to the wire, but with an all-out drive in the two-path, Yodel E.A. Who got up in the last few jumps for the victory. He’s owned by Troy Johnson, Charles Lo, and Jagger Inc and ridden by John Hiraldo.
THIRD STAR: ZABRACADABRA. Wednesday’s feature race was a third-level allowance optional claiming race at a mile and 70 yards. Zabracadabra, who hadn’t raced since late January, pulled off a 22-1 upset. He saved ground on the inside under Mychel Sanchez, then took control in the stretch, overtaking early leader Monday Morning Qb without too much trouble. Magic Michael made decent ground late and got up for second, but he was no match for Zabracadabra. The winner is owned by Frank Sample and trained by Gary Capuano.
Charles Town Races
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FIRST STAR: ART COLLECTOR. The star of Friday’s Charles Town Classic was Art Collector, in pursuit of his second consecutive win in Charles Town’s most prestigious race. He was the overwhelming 1-2 favorite for trainer Bill Mott, who made the trip to West Virginia, and jockey Luis Saez. He broke well and went straight to the front under Saez. Local hero Muad’dib, who was trying to become the second West Virginia-bred to win the Classic, prompted him most of the way. As they rounded the third and final turn, Art Collector began to assert his dominance and opened up. He won by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:51.30, while Muad’dib held on for second. He’s now won 10 times from 19 starts, while earning more than $2.3 million. Bruce Lunsford is the winning owner.
SECOND STAR: SOCIETY. One race prior, 3-year-old fillies went seven furlongs in the Charles Town Oaks. Society bounced back from her defeat in the Coaching Club American Oaks with a gate-to-wire 6 3/4-length win. It marked her second stakes win, after a victory in the Monomoy Girl Stakes at Churchill Downs, and her first graded stakes win. Louisiana-bred Free Like a Girl was second, while Delaware Oaks winner Midnight Stroll got third. Society is a homebred for Peter Blum Thoroughbreds LLC. Steve Asmussen is the winning trainer, while Tyler Gaffalione was in the saddle.
THIRD STAR: FRANK’S ROCKETTE. The first open stakes of the night was the Misty Bennett Pink Ribbon Stakes, for fillies and mares going seven furlongs. Mott trainee Frank’s Rockette. who was second in her prior four races, broke through with a dominant six-length win, overcoming pressure from Fille d’Esprit, who held on for second. The win also pushed Frank’s Rockette’s earnings past the $1 million mark; she’s now earned $1,147,308 lifetime. Saez was also in the saddle on her, for owner/breeder Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc.
FIRST STAR: LOST ARK. Javier Castellano bypassed Travers day at Saratoga to ride Lost Ark in the Sapling Stakes, and it proved to be time well spent. Off a maiden win at Belmont Park on July 3, Lost Ark was the even-money favorite in the field of eight. He drafted in the middle of the pack most of the way, then kicked in powerfully in the stretch and drew away to an impressive 7 1/2-length win, improving to 2-for-2 lifetime. He ran a mile in 1:37.20, for owner Harrell Ventures LLC and trainer Todd Pletcher.
SECOND STAR: HE’SPUREGOLD. Sunday’s New jersey Thoroughbred Festival of Racing was co-headlined by the Charles Hesse III Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. In his dirt debut, He’spuregold went off as the 9-5 favorite, and lived up to expectations with a 2 1/2-length win. He pressed early leader Prendimi from the outside, then finally took firm control as they entered the stretch. Although Golden Brown and Irish Meadow closed in late, He’spuregold opened up enough distance on the others and was clear in the end. A three-time stakes winner with career earnings of $315,720, he’s owned by Roseland Farm Stable, trained by Kelly Breen, and ridden by Paco Lopez.
THIRD STAR: SPEAKING. Earlier on the Sunday card, Speaking won the New Jersey Breeders Handicap by 1 1/2 lengths. He broke on top under Albin Jimenez and quickly established firm control. From there, he was never seriously challenged and crossed the wire in front in 1:09.57 for six furlongs. He’s owned by his breeder, Holly Crest Farm and trained by Eddie Owens Jr.
FIRST STAR: GREEN UP. On Tuesday, this Virginia-bred filly improved to 4-for-4 on the year with a dominant 3 3/4-length win in the Cathryn Sophia Stakes. Indiana Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan winner Interstatedaydream was the 1-2 favorite in the five-horse field, while Green Up went off as the 5-2 second choice. The favorite set the early pace, but Green Up drew alongside her as they neared the far turn and took charge as they entered the stretch. She powered away late and crossed the wire as much the best, stopping the clock in 1:39.77 for a mile and seventy yards. Irad Ortiz Jr rode the winner for Team Valor International LLC and trainer Todd Pletcher.
SECOND STAR: BEST ACTOR. The Smarty Jones Stakes on Tuesday went to Best Actor, for his first stakes win. Under Florent Geroux, he came from just off the pace and drew away in the stretch to win by 5 3/4 lengths, running 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.14. He’s won three times from four starts, and looks like a contender for the Pennsylvania Derby next month. He’s owned by Gary and Mary West and trained by Brad Cox.
THIRD STAR: FORTHELUVOFBOURBON. Monday’s Banjo Picker Sprint Stakes loomed as a showdown between Fortheluvofbourbon, who had won three of his prior four starts, and Beren, coming off a win in the DeFrancis Dash. Beren was the 6-5 favorite, while Fortheluvofbourbon was the 3-2 second choice. Fortheluvofbourbon rated off the pace on the inside, then moved three-wide after the leaders and took charge entering the stretch. Beren closed well from the inside late, but Fortheluvofbourbon got the jump on him, and that rival crossed the wire four lengths in front. The winner is owned by Smart Angle LLP, trained by Michael Pino, and ridden by Paco Lopez.
FIRST STAR: OUR BAB. This 4-year-old filly made her first win a big one last Monday, when she won the Randolph D. Rouse Stakes over fences by three lengths. She made a three-wide move on the final turn and drew off in the stretch, with Cainudothetwist rallying to get second. The winner is owned by Leipers Fork Steeplechasers, trained by Leslie Young, and ridden by Thomas Garner.
SECOND STAR: STRIKE ME DOWN. Wednesday’s feature, a second-level allowance optional claiming race on the grass, went to Strike Me Down in his first win of the year. The Michelle Lovell trainee rated on the rail early on, then moved four-wide in the stretch and got up for a 1 3/4-length victory under Jack Gilligan. Although this 7-year-old gelding is based primarily in the midwest, three of his four career wins have come in the mid-Atlantic region. His most recent victory came at last year’ Colonial meet; he also won at Laurel Park in September 2019. He’s owned by Jerry Romans Jr. and Maria De Jesus Rios Carlos.
THIRD STAR: LEONEL REYES. Reyes had a six-win week, with Monday’s card serving as the highlight. He won three races on the 9-race program, taking race 2 with Right On Richie, trained by Larry Rivelli, race 7 with Check the Grade, for trainer Carlos Munoz, and race 8 on Ubiquitous, trained by Mary Lightner. Reyes also won two on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. With two weeks left in the meet, Reyes has 16 wins, good for second in the standings. He trails Jevian Toledo by four victories.
- Art Collector- winner of two Charles Town Classics in a row.
- Lost Ark
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