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

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

Laurel Park

Howgreatisnate romped in the Future Stars Stakes at Parx Racing. Photo by Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO.

FIRST STAR: JAMIE RODRIGUEZ. With Delaware Park closed for the winter, Rodriguez, the regular leading jockey there, has been spending his time at Laurel Park as of late. He had a huge day there on Saturday, riding four winners. He teamed up with Jamie Ness to win three of the first four races on the program, taking race 1 with Ojitos Bellos, race 3 on Chelonian, and race 4 aboard Thorny Tale. Rodriguez completed the grand slam in the 6th race on Raise Your Game, trained by Michael Gorham. Rodriguez has 18 wins from 90 mounts at the fall meet, tied with Will Humphrey for sixth in the rider standings.

SECOND STAR: KARAN’S NOTION. The Saturday feature was a third-level allowance optional claiming sprint at six furlongs. Karan’s Notion, the winner of the 2020 Maryland Million Sprint, rated off the pace and held on to win in a four-horse photo finish. Favored Threes Over Deuces saved ground off the pace and lunged late, but could do no better than second, while Going to the Lead was third after stalking the pace on the outside. Karan’s Notion, a Maryland-bred homebred for trainer Nancy Heil, has now won six times from 33 starts, with earnings of $394,469. He’s had a busy season, making 14 starts with two wins. Bryson Butterfly had the mount on Saturday.

THIRD STAR: ICY STARE DOWN. Friday’s feature was a first-level allowance race for fillies and mares at six furlongs. Icy Stare Down switched back to dirt and made her first start for Brittany Russell, and it proved a winning combination as she prevailed by 6 1/4 lengths in a dominant front-running effort. Under Sheldon Russell, she broke on top from post position six and left the field in the dust from there. She covered six furlongs in 1:11.12, for her second career win in seven starts. She’s owned by Gold Square LLC and Paul Braverman.

Charles Town Races

FIRST STAR: FREE SAILIN. Saturday’s feature was a West Virginia-bred allowance race at seven furlongs. All eyes were on the king of the West Virginians, Muad’dib. Undefeated against state-bred foes going into Saturday’s race, he went off at 3-5, but had no punch late and finished third. Meanwhile, Free Sailin, who won the West Virginia Lottery Breeders’ Classic Stakes but was fourth in the Randy Funkhouser Stakes most recently, bounced back with a front-running half-length win. Social Chic pressed him on the pace throughout, but he withstood all challenges and held on for the victory, covering the distance in 1:24.35. A five-time winner on the year from nine starts, he’s owned and trained by Jason DaCosta and was ridden by Angel Diaz.

SECOND STAR: TREASURE TROVE. The last time Treasure Trove was at Charles Town, he was well-beaten in the Charles Town Classic. He faced much easier allowance optional claiming company on Thursday, going off as the even-money favorite in the five-horse, 1 1/16-mile contest. He stalked the pace towards the rail, then moved into the two-path and overhauled early leader Bubba Grump on the final turn and pulled clear late. Jeiron Barbosa came from Laurel Park for the winning mount, for owner Built Wright Stables LLC and trainer Norman Cash.

THIRD STAR: COASTAL MISSION. This four-time stakes-placed 3-year-old made his first start off a long layoff on Thursday. As the 4-5 favorite in a West Virginia-bred allowance contest, he rated off early leader Road Party, then drew away and won by 6 3/4 lengths, going seven furlongs in 1:25.57. He’s won three times in seven starts, and has never missed the board in his career. He’s a homebred for Coleswood Farm Inc, trained by Jeff Runco, and ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.

Parx Racing

FIRST STAR: HOWGREATISNATE. Monday’s feature was the Future Stars Stakes, featuring a field of six 2-year-olds going six furlongs. Howgreatisnate picked up his second stakes win of the year with a 3 1/2-length win, making a wide move on the turn to draw off from his rivals. He’s now 4-for-4 lifetime, including a win in the First State Dash at Delaware earlier this season. J.D. Acosta had the mount on Monday for owner Imaginary Stables and trainer Andy Simoff.

SECOND STAR: EXPENSIVE CUT. This Robert Mosco trainee made it two wins in a row and five wins this year on Tuesday. As the 7-5 favorite in a first-level allowance optional claiming route, he rated off the pace and kicked clear on the turn for an impressive 4 1/4 lengths. He ran 1 1/16 miles on a sloppy track in 1:44.29, for owner Jack Armstrong and jockey Silvestre Gonzalez. He’s acclimated well to Parx since arriving here in May, with three wins in his last five starts on this surface.

THIRD STAR: NOBLE GASTON. This 3-year-old gelding picked up his third straight win on Wednesday with a 1 1/4-length allowance optional claiming score. Under Angel Castillo, he broke on top, then made the front while getting pressure from Mr. Sandman. He pulled clear of that rival late then held on despite drifting out in the stretch. He broke his maiden at Parx in April, then went to the sidelines, but has gone 2-for-2 this fall. He’s owned by The Hakim’s Stable LLC and is trained by Mario Dominguez.

Region’s Best

  1. Howgreatisnate- Made it two stakes wins on the year last week.
  2. Jaime Rodriguez
  3. Karan’s Notion