MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: november 21
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: FULL COUNT FELICIA. In her first start since the Virginia Oaks, Full Count Felicia crushed the field in a first-level allowance race on Saturday. Sent off as the 9-5 favorite in the 1 1/8-mile grass contest, she rated towards the middle of the pack early on, then made a strong move to the lead in the four-path on the turn. She opened up a long lead in the stretch and pulled away to win by six lengths, going the distance 1:51.58. She broke her maiden in similar fashion at Colonial Downs in August, and rebounded nicely after missing the board in the Virginia Oaks. She’s owned by Gold Square LLC, trained by Brittany Russell, and ridden by Feargal Lynch.
SECOND STAR: HEIR PORT. The feature on Sunday’s card was a first-level allowance race for Maryland-bred and Maryland-sired horses. Heir Port, who led most of the way in the Maryland Million Sprint before tiring, went off as the 6-5 favorite in the nine-horse field. He dueled with Rad Paisley on the outside most of the way, then dismissed that rival in the last eighth and held clear in the lane. He won by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:05.04 for 5 1/2 furlongs. Jaime Rodriguez had the winning mount for owners Madison Avenue Racing Stable Inc, Dawn Witte, and Jagger Inc and trainer Jamie Ness.
THIRD STAR: PRINCE OF JERICHO. Off an 11 3/4-length maiden win last out, Prince of Jericho tried winners for the first time in a first-level allowance optional claiming race on Saturday. When asked to run on the far turn, he immediately responded and kept the rest, including chief rival Valenzan Day, at bay. He crossed the line 5 1/4 lengths in front, going six furlongs in 1:11.72 while running a career-best Equibase figure of 92. He’s owned by Michael Dubb and Morris Bailey, trained by Brittany Russell, and ridden by Feargal Lynch.
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: NO LOVE FOR JUBA. Off a last-out maiden win, No Love For Juba came from well off the pace to win Saturday’s West Virginia Futurity. 40-1 Music Lass set the early pace off the rail, then moved to the rail and maintained her advantage on the final turn. Meanwhile, No Love For Juba drafted on the rail early, then angled off the rail and gobbled up ground in the stretch. He got up to win by 1 1/4 lengths, while Music Lass held second. The winner’s a homebred for Taylor Mountain Farm, trained by James Casey, and ridden by Orlando Bocachica, who recently returned to riding after a four-year absence.
SECOND STAR: KENNY HAD A NOTION. This Virginia-bred gelding won his second straight race at Charles Town on Wednesday, as he won an open allowance race by a head. He opened up a long lead in the early stages of the 6 1/2-furlong contest, then fended off the challenge of 9-10 choice Outlier for the victory. He won three stakes races between his 2-year-old and 3-year-old season, but has gotten back on track with two straight victories after winning just once in his prior 13 races. He’s owned by Arlee Griffin, trained by Michael Jones, and ridden by Wesley Ho.
THIRD STAR: FULL MOON LOVER. This West Virginia-bred daughter of Country Life Farm stallion Mosler continued a busy season on Saturday, winning for the seventh time this year. Sent off as the odds-on choice in a second-level allowance optional claiming contest for fillies and mares, she rated near the pace and moved wide in the stretch to win by a half-length, with Alpine Moon rallying late for second. The winner has hit the exacta 11 times in her 12-race career, only missing the board in the Blue and Gold Stakes three starts back. Ronney Brown trains and co-owns the winner with Nicole Brown. Carlos Lopez was the winning jockey.
FIRST STAR: SILVESTRE GONZALEZ. One of Parx’s top jockeys celebrated a major career milestone last Tuesday, when he rode his 500th winner. He sat aboard 2-5 favorite Unimpeachable in the 4th race, and rated off clear early leader Yo Nessroundonkern. As they moved for home, Unimpeachable drew alongside the leader and pulled clear to win the 6 1/2-furlong contest by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:18.71, for trainer Kathleen Demasi. The win was one of three for Gonzalez on the Tuesday card. He also piloted home Sizzling Roma in race 2, for trainer Ron Dandy, and race 9 on Michael Moore trainee Flashndynamite. Gonzalez, who began riding in 2015, has earned more than $15.4 million in his career.
SECOND STAR: SPIKEZONE. The public had full confidence in Spikezone in Wednesday’s feature, sending him off at 2-5 in a non-winners of three allowance optional claiming dash. He lived up to expectations, as he set the early pace and fended a stretch challenge from For the Dreamers to win by 1 1/4 lengths. He’s won three times from seven starts, including two of his last three races, with career earnings of $88,340. He’s owned by Charles Lo, Troy Johnson, and John Lee, trained by Jamie Ness, and ridden by Ruben Silvera.
THIRD STAR: FLAT OUT FLYING. This gelding continued a terrific year on Wednesday, winning his sixth race of the year. He went off as the 2-5 choice in a 1 1/16-mile starter allowance race, and rated in last place early on. He made a four-wide move on the turn and powered away to win by four lengths. He spent most of the summer racing at Delaware Park, where he won four times, and made his return to Parx a triumphant one. Mychel Sanchez was aboard for owner Lynch Racing LLC and trainer Cal Lynch.
- No Love For Juba– Won West Virginia Futurity in first stakes win.
- Silvestre Gonzalez
- Kenny Had a Notion
- 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.