MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: october 3
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: DAMON DILODOVICO. Dilodovico got off to a blazing-hot start during a splashtastic opening weekend at Laurel. He went a perfect 5-for-5 with his starters, including a three-win day on Sunday. Dilodovico was one of four trainers to win multiple races on opening weekend; Hammy Smith, Carlos Mancilla, and Thomas McMahon were the others.. He’s won 34 races this year and finished tied for fifth in the standings at the Laurel summer meet with 11 winners.
SECOND STAR: BATTLE BLING. Saturday’s Twixt Stakes was a listed stakes on paper, but drew a borderline graded stakes-quality group. Four of the five runners had won a stakes race this year, including Battle Bling. The Rob Atras trainee won the Ladies Stakes at Aqueduct in January, but since then had accumulated a string of placings in stakes company. She earned another stakes win here, with a 1 1./4-length win over favored Coach. That rival, who went off as the favorite, set the pace on the rail while Battle Bling pressed her in the two-path. As they hit the half-mile point, Battle Bling took control and never gave it up. Angel Cruz had the winning mount for owners Michael Dubb and Gandharvi Racing Stables.
THIRD STAR: FACTOR IT IN. Two races earlier on Saturday, owner Michael Scheffres got his first stakes win, when Factor It In won the Challedon Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths. Under Jorge Ruiz, the gray 6-year-old rated off the pace towards the inside, then split horses as they entered the stretch. He overhauled early leader Backnthewoods in the last eighth and drew off from there. He ran seven furlongs in 1:24.16 for trainer Carlos Mancilla.
FIRST STAR: MYCHEL SANCHEZ. Last Saturday at Delaware, which was Owners’ Day, Mychel Sanchez earned his 1,000th victory by winning the George Rosenberger Memorial Stakes. He guided Malibu Beauty to a gate-to-wire win in the 1 1/16-mile off-the-grass contest. The 4-year-old Buffum filly won her second stakes of the Delaware season while going the distance in 1:44.99. Sanchez began his riding career in 2013, and his mounts have earned more than $32.5 million.
SECOND STAR: SHACKQUEENKING. Since returning from a layoff in mid-August, Shackqueenking has been in great form. He won his third race in a row on Saturday, winning the DTHA Governors Day Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths. After rating off the pace early on, he moved three-wide towards the leaders on the backstretch. As they rounded the final turn, he opened up a clear lead and maintained his advantage. He’s enjoyed the most success at Delaware, with five of his seven wins coing at the New Castle oval. Angel Suarez had the mount for owner Pocket 3’s Racing LLC and trainer Gary Capuano.
THIRD STAR: WHERESHETOLDMETOGO. This 7-year-old gelding took a big step on the road to becoming the latest Maryland-bred millionaire on Friday, when he won the New Castle Stakes by a head. He dueled with early leader Indian Lake down the stretch, but ultimately prevailed for his second consecutive win in this race. The victory boosted his career earnings to $955,295, placing him just shy of millionaire status. He’s now won four races and three stakes races this year, for owners Madaket Stables LLC, Ten Strike Racing, Michael Kisber, and BTR Racing Inc, trainer Brittany Russell, and jockey Jevian Toledo.
Charles Town Races
- Laurel Park picks and ponderings: November 27, 2022We provide full-card picks and analysis for this afternoon’s races at Laurel Park.
FIRST STAR: STRONG FIBER. On Saturday, this 3-year-old son of Fiber Sonde won his second straight race when he won a West Virginia-bred allowance race by a half-length. He went off as the 5-2 second choice behind 4-5 favorite Drinkwiththestars, who set the early pace in the 4 1/2-furlong affair. Strong Fiber pressed the leader throughout and poked a head in front as they entered the stretch. The two continued to duel, but Strong Fiber got the edge late. Since his 3-year-old debut in late August, he’s quickly rounded into career-best form, with lifetime-top Equibase figures in his last two starts. He’s a homebred for owner/trainer John McKee, while Marshall Mendez had the mount.
SECOND STAR: COMPANY CLOWN. This 5-year-old has found his best form lately. He won for the fourth time in his last five races on Thursday, when he won a starter optional claiming race by a half-length. He broke from the inside post in the 4 1/2-furlong dash and moved three-wide on the turn after the leaders. He overhauled early leader Ruling late and crossed the line in front in 52.18. Fredy Peltroche had the mount for owner Michael Miller and trainer David Walters.
THIRD STAR: ALL CAPS. Walters and Peltroche also teamed up on this West Virginia-bred 3-year-old filly to victory on Thursday, as she cruised to win a West Virginia-bred allowance race by 5 1/4 lengths. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, she dueled with Crafty Windsor Cat in the early stages, but dispatched of that rival and drew off emphatically, running 4 1/2 furlongs in 52.60. She broke her maiden by six lengths in her prior start, and looks like she has a bright future. She’s a homebred for Fairview Farm.
FIRST STAR: MISS BONNIE T. The feature of the Friday card, which was the only card held this week, as Saturday’s program was washed away, was a first-level allowance race for fillies and mares. Miss Bonnie T, off a maiden-breaking win at Saratoga, saved ground early on and angled off the rail as she entered the stretch. From there, she kicked on to a 2 1/4-length victory, going a mile in 1:38.05. Hector Diaz Jr had the mount for owners Goldfarb, Kahn, Carney, and Goldfarb and trainer Phil Antonacci.
SECOND STAR: JAIRO RENDON. Rendon scored a riding double on Friday. He scored in race 2 on Optic Way, for trainer Derek Ryan, and race 3 aboard Bird’s Eye View, trained by Michael Dini. Rendon became one of five riders with multiple wins at the meet. Hector Diaz Jr maintains the lead, with four victories.
THIRD STAR: BIRD’S EYE VIEW. The aforementioned Bird’s Eye View, who has been around the block for a while, closed in one the $400,000 mark in earnings and won for the first time this year in his race on Friday. He drafted towards the back early and closed strongly on the outside to win by a head in a four-horse photo finish. This 8-year-old gelding has raced 57 times in his career and has won six times. He’s owned by Ballybrit Stable, LLC.
FIRST STAR: EASTERN BAY. This Maryland-bred gelding continued a tremendous year on Wednesday, when he won an open allowance by two lengths. As the 4-5 favorite in a field scratched down to four runners, he made a move on the turn after rating in last and drew away to win for the sixth time this year. After the race, trainer Norman Cash indicated that his next start would be in the Vosburgh Stakes at Aqueduct this Saturday, which would be the first graded stakes win for horse and trainer. He’s owned by Built Wright Stables LLC and was ridden by Will Humphrey.
SECOND STAR: HE’S INCREDIBLE. Earlier on Wednesday, He’s Incredible won for the third time in his last four starts, As the even-money favorite in a starter allowance race, he dueled with JW’s Third Mischie early on, then kicked away to win by 1 1/2 lengths while running six furlongs in 1:10.85. The Alfredo Velazquez trainee raced just one time between July 2020 and July 2022, but has rounded back into his best form this year. Paco Lopez had the mount for owner Anita Velazquez.
THIRD STAR: PLANE DRUNK. On Tuesday, Lopez guided home this Pennsylvania-bred filly to a sharp starter allowance win. As the 11-10 choice, she made a strong three-wide move on the turn and drew away to a 4 1/2-length win, covering six furlongs in 1:10.81. She’s owned by Madison Avenue Racing Stable Inc and Jagger Inc and trained by Jamie Ness.
- Mychel Sanchez- A milestone for one of the region’s best riders.
- Damon Dilodovico
- Nick Sanna’s long journey to the winner’s circleLong before he owned horses, Nick Sanna had a job sweeping up after the races at Delaware Park. It’s been quite a journey.