MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: august 14
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: SET PIECE. In Saturday’s feature race at Colonial Downs, the Arlington Million, Set Piece exploded from last to win by two lengths. He drafted as much as eleven lengths off the lead for most of the race, then exploded in the center of the track under Florent Geroux and struck the front at the eighth pole. He covered 1 1/4 miles on the grass in 1:58.19, a new track record. It’s his third stakes win in the past 12 months, following victories in the Baltimore-Washington Turf Cup last September and the Arlington Stakes earlier this year. This Juddmonte homebred is trained by Brad Cox.
SECOND STAR: FEV ROVER. Earlier on the card, fillies and mares battled in the Beverly D. Stakes. Odds-on choice Fev Rover, off a third-place finish in the Diana Stakes last out, took control early on, and never had a stressful moment. She won by 3 1/2 lengths under Javier Castellano, going 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.35. She’s now earned $948,776 in her 17-race career and is a four-time graded or group stakes winner, with this being her first such win in the United States. Tracy Farmer is the winning owner, Mark Casse the winning trainer.
THIRD STAR: GIGANTE. The other feature race at Colonial Downs on Saturday was the Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds. Appropriately, Virginia-bred Gigante got it done, fending off the late rally of Nagirroc to win in a 22-1 upset. It was his thrid stakes win in his 9-race career, and his second at Colonial, following a victory in last year’s Kitten’s Joy Stakes. Castellano was aboard this one as well, for owners Iapetus Racing and Diamond T Racing and trainer Steve Asmussen.
- Direct the Cat is all that in Rachel’s TurnDirect the Cat blew her opponents away in a dominant performance in Friday’s Rachel’s Turn Stakes at Charles Town Races.
FIRST STAR: DATAMAN. Rallied and got up over early leader Ari Gold to win Sunday’s Bald Eagle Derby in a 12-1 upset for Graham Motion and Jorge Ruiz.
SECOND STAR: BOLIVIE. Came from last under Feargal Lynch to win a three-horse photo in the Searching Stakes earlier on Sunday.
THIRD STAR: DOUBLE CROWN. Overcame a poor start to win a third-level allowance optional claiming contest over favored All Threes on Sunday.
Charles Town Races
FIRST STAR: HAPPY CLOUDS. Shipped to Charles Town on Saturday and got up to win a second-level allowance optional claiming contest; she’s now hit the exacta nine times in ten starts this year.
SECOND STAR: TIZ THE REASON. Cruised to a win against West Virginia-bred allowance optional claiming foes on Thursday, for her sixth win of the year from nine starts.
THIRD STAR: JUBA’S PARADE. Drew off and crushed a West Virginia-bred allowance field by 7 1/2 lengths on Saturday.
FIRST STAR: AXEL CONCEPCION. Rode home three winners on the Thursday card from six mounts.
SECOND STAR: HAINT BLUE. One of his winners was this South Carolina-bred Hammy Smith trainee, who came from last to win a first-level allowance optional claiming contest by 5 1/4 lengths for her second straight win.
THIRD STAR: SHERO. Came from off the pace to win a washed-off second-level allowance optional claiming sprint on Wednesday.
FIRST STAR: SET PIECE. Looks like a Breeders’ Cup candidate after his impressive Million victory.
SECOND STAR; FEV ROVER. Turned the Beverly D. into a merry-go-round with her early speed.
THIRD STAR: GIGANTE. Scored one for the home team in the Secretariat.
FIRST STAR: HIGHESTDISTINCTION. Drafted wide off the pace and kicked away to win Sunday’s Oceanport Stakes, giving trainer Lindsay Schultz her second career stakes win.
SECOND STAR: EAMONN. Joe Orseno got his 1,999th win with Eamonn, who won the Select Stakes earlier on Sunday; Orseno got win 2,000 later in the day at Gulfstream Park.
THIRD STAR: BIZ BIZ BUZZ. Won for the third time in his last five starts in a second-level grass sprint on Saturday.
- Catching up with… Jessica PaquetteWe caught up with Parx Racing track announcer Jessica Paquette on the eve of her becoming the first woman to call a US Grade 1 race.