MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: october 24
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: OURNATIONONPARADE. A $50,000 claim by Jamie Ness in September at Churchill Downs proved to be a wise investment. Ournationonparade, a son of Cal Nation, stalked the pace and drew off to win the Northview Stallion Station Maryland Million Classic by 5 3/4 lengths. The 5-year-old gelding, bred by John Williamson III, covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.78 under Jaime Rodriguez. Ness and Rodriguez also teamed up to win the Springtime Supplements Lassie earlier in the day with Chickieness. Ournationonparade also won the Nursery in 2019, making him the second horse to win both the Lassie and the Classic. Happy Go Lucky Stable Inc is the winning owner.
SECOND STAR: FORTHELUVOFBOURBON. This Pennsylvania-bred son of Anchor & Hope stallion Bourbon Courage won his sixth consecutive race on Saturday, when he won the 1/ST BET Maryland Million Sprint by 1 1/2 lengths. The 5-year-old gelding had to call on all his class, as he rated off the pace under Paco Lopez and had to battle wide in the stretch. Ultimately, he pulled clear and secured the win, with 2020 Sprint champion Karan’s Notion getting second. The winner is owned by Smart Angle LLP and trained by Michael Pino.
THIRD STAR: FILLE D’ESPRIT. Also on Saturday, Fille d’Esprit made it four stakes wins on the year, as she won the Harford County Maryland Million Distaff by 3 1/2 lengths. The Jerry Robb trainee rated off the pace on the inside, and kicked away powerfully in the lane to win. A daughter of Northview stallion Great Notion, she was originally claimed for $10,000 by C J I Phoenix Group and No Guts No Glory Farm in August 2020, and since then has won nine times while pushing her earnings past the $550,000 mark. She was ridden by Xavier Perez.
FIRST STAR: JUROR NUMBER FOUR. Laurel Park wasn’t the only place where Maryland-breds shone this week. Juror Number Four, a stakes-placed daughter of Into Mischief, won for the second time this year on Wednesday. She went off at 12-1 in a third-level allowance optional claiming race, and rated in last early on. She moved three-wide after the lead on the turn, then charged five-wide after the leaders in the stretch. She got up late to win by a half-length, with another Maryland-bred, Intrepid Daydream, getting second. The winner ran six furlongs in 1:10.31, for owners Cash is King LLC and LC Racing LLC and trainer Brittany Russell.
SECOND STAR: LITTLE VIC. In his first start since a tenth-place finish in the Gallant Bob Stakes, LIttle Vic rebounded with a win in a non-winners of three allowance race on Thursday. As the 11-10 favorite, he dueled most of the way with Spikezone on the rail. The pair was seven lengths clear of the others in the stretch. In the last eighth, Spikezone began to tire, and Little Vic pulled clear late to secure the win, with Radical Right up for second. The winner ran six furlongs in 1:09.62. Carlos Olivero had the winning mount for owner Victoria’s Ranch and trainer Juan Avila.
THIRD STAR: JAIME RODRIGUEZ. The Maryland Million wasn’t the only highlight of the week for Rodriguez. He won three races on the Friday card. After missing with his first three mounts, Rodriguez got on track with a win in race 5 on Antonio Machado trainee Beautiful Tiz and race 6 aboard Arrogant Lady, trained by Christophe Clement. After a defeat in race 7, Delaware’s leading rider completed the hat trick in race 8 with Green Screen Queen, trained by Jamie Ness.
Charles Town Races
- Laurel Park picks and ponderings: March 1, 2024We provide full-card picks and analysis for this afternoon’s races at Laurel Park.
FIRST STAR: SHOSHONI MOON. On Saturday, this 4-year-old filly won for the second time this year in dominant style. In a first-level allowance race, she made the lead on the far turn of the 6 1/2-furlong affair and pulled away from there. She crossed the wire 11 1/2 lengths in front while under a drive, going the distance in 1:19.99. Gerald Almodovar was aboard for owners Gryphon Investments LLC and Havensgate Farm LLC and trainer Stephen Lyster. It was her second start at Charles Town, after having spent the start of her career at various tracks in the midwest.
SECOND STAR: KENNY HAD A NOTION. The 2020 Maryland Million Nursery champion was not at this year’s Million, but he still won a race this week, as he took a second-level allowance optional claiming race on Thursday night by two lengths. He drafted off the early pace, then struck the front in the stretch and wore down early leader Cowboy at Heart to pull an 8-1 upset. He had not yet hit the board in five starts on the year prior to this race, but finally broke through for his first win as a 4-year-old. He’s owned by Arlee Griffin Jr, trained by Michael Jones Jr, and ridden by Wesley Ho.
THIRD STAR: MARSHALL MENDEZ. After winning four races in a day last week, Mendez picked up a riding hat trick on Friday. He won race 4 on Holy Pink, trained by Michael Jones Jr, race 6 on Sing a Lullaby, trained by John McKee, and race 7 with Manhattan Wave, for trainer Anthony Farrior. Mendez is in second in the Charles Town rider standings with 120 wins.
FIRST STAR: UNCLE CURLY. This New York-bred veteran was a sharp winner on Friday. taking a first-level allowance race by a neck. Under Paco Lopez, he gradually made his way to the rail from post position eight, then rated in mid-pack before making a two-wide bid for the lead. From there, he kicked on and got up by a half-length in a four-horse blanket finish. He’s now won six times from 41 starts with earnings totaling $229,865. He’s owned by Paradise Farm Corp. and trainer Peter Walder.
SECOND STAR: LEO MONTE. Earlier on the Friday card, Leo Monte won a second-level Jersey-bred allowance optional claiming race by three lengths. He moved wide for the lead, and raced a few paths off the rail most of the way. As they rounded the far turn, he wrestled command of the lead, and drew off in the stretch to win in an 8-1 upset. He’s now won three times on the year from seven starts, including two consecutive wins. He’s a homebred for owner Colonial Farms, trained by Rory Huston and ridden by Maddie Rowland.
THIRD STAR: HECTOR DIAZ JR. With a win on Saturday night aboard Takafumi, trained by Mike Maker, Diaz clinched the riding title. He won eight times from 33 starts, for a 25% clip. It was his first Meadowlands riding title, after missing out on a share of the title by one win last year.
FIRST STAR: BUY LAND AND SEE. This 5-year-old gelding had already won two stakes against Pennsylvania-breds this year, and stepped up to open stakes company on Tuesday for the M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile Stakes. He had trouble on both turns, ducking out on the first bend then getting caught in traffic on the second turn, but got clear late and won by 1 1/4 lengths in a mild 6-1 upset. He improved to 3-for-7 on the year and 6-for-16 on the year, with earnings of $444,270. He’s owned by breeder Joseph Imbesi, trained by Guadalupe Preciado, and ridden by Mychel Sanchez.
SECOND STAR: BEREN. One race later, in the Jump Start Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds, Beren won his second stakes race of the year. As the 17-10 favorite, he opened up a comfortable advantage early on and cruised to a sharp 3 1/4-length win under Frankie Pennington. He won the DeFrancis Dash earlier this year, and finished second in three other stakes races. He’s owned by St. Omer’s Farm and Christopher Feifarek, trained by Butch Reid, and ridden by Frankie Pennington.
THIRD STAR: FAST BOB. Monday’s feature, a second-level allowance optional claiming race, went to Fast Bob, for his third win of the year. He rated in last early on in the 6 1/2-furlong dash, then swooped the field in the lane and powered off to a 1 1/4-length win at 7-1. Andy Hernandez was aboard, for owners Kasey K Racing Stable LLC and Michael Day and trainer Michael Moore. Fast Bob was one of three winners for Moore and Hernandez on the day; they also teamed up to win race 7 with Gremlin and race 8 on Peak of Chic.
- Ournationonparade- Puts his name in the Maryland Million history books with Classic triumph.
- Buy Land and Ses
- Muad’dib, other Runco runners gearing up for ’24Some of trainer Jeff Runco’s top runners are gearing up for 2024, with Muad’dib already owning a win and Coastal Mission back on the work tab.