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

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


Webslinger #10 with Dylan Davis riding passes #7 Oxymore and Jose Ortiz in deep stretch to win the $500,000 Nownownow Stakes at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ on Saturday September 17,2022. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

FIRST STAR: ALWAYSINAHURRY. Sunday’s feature race, a third-level allowance optional claiming race, looked like a layup for Wondrwherecraigis. The winner of last year’s Bold Ruler Stakes, looking for a rebound off two disappointing stakes tries, went off as the 1-10 favorite, and set the pace on the rail. In the stretch, it looked like he was going to pull away, but he flattened out late. 11-1 shot Alwaysinahurry, a Maryland Million eligible, rallied on the outside and got up to win by a head for his first victory of the year. This son of Great Notion has now won four times from 17 career starts, with this victory being his first since last year’s Concern Stakes. He’s owned by Mopo Racing, trained by Dale Capuano, and ridden by Angel Cruz.

SECOND STAR: JEIRON BARBOSA. Maryland’s latest apprentice sensation won his 100th career race on Friday. He clinched the milestone with his third winner of the day, guiding Gift of Gab across the wire first for trainer Michael Merryman. Barbosa didn’t start riding in the mainland United States until March 23, but has been dominant since then. He was the leading rider at the Laurel Park spring meet and leads the way at the current Pimlico stand, with seven wins from 25 starts.

THIRD STAR: JOANNE SHANKLE. Shankle, a multiple stakes-winning owner and assistant to Rudy Sanchez-Solomon, sent out her first winner as a trainer on Sunday. Dr. Ferber, the slight 2-1 favorite in a conditioned claiming race, came from last to win by 5 1/4 lengths under Tais Lyapustina. Shankle is the owner of Can the Queen, the Maryland-bred winner of the Very One Stakes and last year’s Sensible Lady Turf Dash, and also owns Dr. Ferber.

Delaware Park

FIRST STAR: JAIME RODRIGUEZ. Rodriguez has been on a torrid winning streak over the past few days at Delaware. He’s won with his last seven mounts. He won four times from five mounts on Friday, including with his last three horses, then went a perfect 4-for-4 on Saturday. He’s won with seven different trainers during his streak. With more than a month left in the Delaware season, Rodriguez has ridden 90 wins on the season. No other rider has even half that total.

SECOND STAR: TIZ HERSELF. This filly won for the fifth time this year, and for the third time on the Delaware season, on Wednesday. She tracked the pace and drew away in the stretch to win a 1 1/16-mile starter allowance race by 7 1/2 lengths under Raul Mena. She won twice from six starts at Tampa bay Downs earlier in the year, but has been perfect at Delaware so far. She’s owned by Manfred and Barry Roos and trained by John Rigattieri.

THIRD STAR: RIVETING SPIRIT. One of Rodriguez’s winners was on this 5-year-old mare, who won her third race in a row on Friday. She saved all the ground she could in the 1 1/16-mile starter optional claiming grass race, rating on the rail most of the way. As they turned for home, she angled off the rail and overhauled clear leader Memphis Showboat for the victory. The winner is owned by Norman Rader and trained by Andrew Simoff.

Charles Town Races

FIRST STAR: PENGUIN POWER. Charles Town hosted a trio of stakes races on Saturday, including the Last Enchantment WV Overnight Stakes. Penguin Power, a three-time winner of the WV Breeders’ Classic Onion Juice Stakes, prepared for another title defense with a 2 1/2-length victory. He was the slight 7-5 favorite over Hypothesis, and he lived up to the hype, as he stalked the pace in the two-path and kicked away in the stretch. He ran 4 1/2 furlongs in an impressive 51.11 seconds, for owner David Raim, trainer Jeff Runco, and jockey Arnaldo Bocachica.

SECOND STAR: PAYMENGOLD. There were also a pair of 2-year-old stakes on Saturday. Off a maiden win on August 13, Paymengold pulled a 23-1 upset in the Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes. He dueled with favored Teachintherelease early on, then dispatched that rival in the stretch and pulled away to a three-length victory. He’s a homebred for owner/trainer Dewayne Johnson. Fredy Peltroche had the winning mount. His sire is Golden Lad, making him Maryland Million eligible.

THIRD STAR: LIGHTNIN RUNNER. The filly equivalent, the Rachel’s Turn Stakes, also saw an upset. 1-5 favorite Sail On Breeze could do no better than third, while 12-1 Lightnin Runner made a three-wide move and got up in the last few jumps to win by a neck. This daughter of Battalion Runner is now a perfect 2-for-2 lifetime, for owner George Nyren, trainer Angel Rodriguez, and jockey Antonio Lopez.

Monmouth Park

FIRST STAR: WEBSLINGER. The feature on Saturday was one of the richest races of the season: the $500,000 Nownownow Stakes for 2-year-olds on the grass. Mark Casse sent a pair to the Jersey Shore, including Webslinger, who was looking for his first career victory. He achieved his objective with a half-length win. He moved four-wide in the stretch under Dylan Davis, in from New York for the mount, and got up late over odds-on choice Oxymore. Jose Ortiz also came from New York to ride the heavy Chad Brown-trained favorite, but settled for second. The winner ran a mile in 1:35.09, for owner D.J. Stable LLC.

SECOND STAR: SMITHWICK’S SPICE. The co-feature of the Sunday card, the final day of the 2022 racing season, was the Joey P. Handicap for Jersey-breds. Smithwick’s Spice, sent off as the even-money favorite, stalked the pace and drew off to win by three lengths. This 6-year-old gelding ran five furlongs in 56.84 seconds, for owner New Spice Stable, trainer Doug Nunn, and jockey Jairo Rendon. It was his third consecutive victory.

THIRD STAR: FRANK MIRAHMADI. After eight years as the voice of Monmouth Park, Frank Mirahmadi wrapped up his tenure in Oceanport on Sunday. He was honored by the track after co-hosting the pre-race seminar, and concluded the season by calling Motawaafeq home a winner in the 12th race. Next year, Mirahmadi will announce at Saratoga, where he’s filled in a few times over the last few years.

Parx Racing

FIRST STAR: MARKET MAVEN. In 2021, this Maryland Million-eligible Pennsylvania-bred raced in the Wood Memorial. He set the pace but tired, then went to the sidelines for more than a year. He finally returned to the races on Wednesday with a 1 1/2-length win in a Pennsylvania-bred allowance race. He dueled with Cuneo most of the way, but pulled clear late for the victory. Anthony Salgado was in the saddle for owner Gregory Gordon and trainer Ernesto Padilla-Preciado.

SECOND STAR: RUBEN SILVERA. Parx’s leading rider won three races on Tuesday. He pulled a natural hat trick to start the day. He booted home a pair for Jamie Ness, taking race 1 with Carroll Girl and race 3 on Seiche. In the 4th race, he polished off the three-bagger aboard Tizita, trained by Armand Correnti.

THIRD STAR: AEGEAN SEA. Last Monday, this Pennsylvania-bred filly took a first-level allowance optional claiming race by 7 1/2 lengths. She scored in very easy fashion, as she opened up a clear lead not long after the break and was never seriously challenged. She ran a mile and seventy yards on the dirt in 1:42.68, for owner Class Personified Stable, trainer Howard Brown Jr, and jockey Paco Lopez.

Region’s Best

  1. Webslinger- Oceanport today, Lexington tomorrow?
  2. Penguin Power
  3. Alwaysinahurry