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

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

Region’s Best

National Treasure (inside) prevailed in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. Photo: Jerry Dzierwinski

FIRST STAR: NATIONAL TREASURE. After a long stretch duel, pace-setting National Treasure held sway on the lead to win Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico and give John Velazquez his first win in the 1 3/16-mile race. He was allowed to set moderate fractions of 23.95 and 48.92, and had enough left late to hold off the challenge of Blazing Sevens. That rival finished second, while Kentucky Derby winner Mage ended up third. The winner is owned by an ownership conglomerate led by SF Racing LLC and Starlight Racing and trained by Bob Baffert.

SECOND STAR: STRAIGHT NO CHASER. Preakness weekend featured some horses who could be considered at or near the top of their respective divisions. One of them is Straight No Chaser, who earned a dominant breakthrough victory in Saturday’s Maryland Sprint Stakes. He was pressed on the early pace by Prevalence through blazing fractions of 22.44 and 44.66. However, he only got stronger as the race got longer, and puled away from the field with impressive strides. He crossed the wire 7 1/2 lengths in front, covering six furlongs in 1:08.27. That’s almost two seconds faster than Cheetara ran in winning the Skipat Stakes a few races earlier. The California-based son of Speightster improved his career record to 4-0-1 from 7 starts with earnings of $245,800. Velazquez was aboard for owners MyRacehorse and trainer Dan Blacker.

THIRD STAR: TAXED. Despite a solid second-place finish to Wet Paint in the Fantasy Stakes in her prior start, Taxed was dismissed at 11-1 in Friday’s George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. She made a strong, wide move on the turn and overhauled longtime leader Hoosier Philly to win by 3 3/4 lengths. That’s the first stakes victory for the gray daughter of Collected, who covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.45. She’s owned by Richard Bahde, trained by Randy Morse, and ridden by Rafael Bejarano. This was Bejarano’s only mount in Maryland this weekend; certainly time well-spent.


FIRST STAR: NATIONAL TREASURE. Velazquez adds the Preakness to his resume at long last.

SECOND STAR: STRAIGHT NO CHASER. Looks like one of the best sprinters in the country, if not the best.

THIRD STAR: TAXED. Turned in a breakthrough performance on Friday and will try to establish herself in a middling division.

Charles Town Races

FIRST STAR: FREE SAILIN. Defeated a tough allowance field on Friday for his third victory of the year.

SECOND STAR: MATH MAN MARCO. Overcame a wide trip to take a non-winners of three allowance contest on Friday, for his second win of the season.

THIRD STAR: JAYJAYDEE. Cruised on the lead to beat starter allowance company going 1 1/16 miles on Saturday. He’s now hit the exacta five times in seven starts this year.

Monmouth Park

FIRST STAR: SPEAKING. With his win in Sunday’s John J. Reilly Handicap, he’s now a stakes winner at Monmouth at ages 2, 3, and 4.

SECOND STAR: MIA’S CRUSADE. Set the pace and held clear to win Saturday’s Spruce Fir Handicap in her season debut.

THIRD STAR: PACO LOPEZ. Kept the hot streak going with a three-win day on Saturday.

Parx Racing

FIRST STAR: EXPENSIVE CUT. Improved sharply to win a second-level allowance optional claiming contest on Wednesday in gate-to-wire style.

SECOND STAR: FRIAR TUCK. Started his 2023 season with a sharp starter allowance win on Saturday.

THIRD STAR: KOBE B. Battled in the stretch and wore down early leader Hoopla in a first-level allowance optional claiming sprint on Wednesday.