MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: august 28
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: SKIPPYLONGSTOCKING. Charles Town hosted its signature event on Friday, when ten older males traveled 1 1/8 miles in the Charles Town Classic. Saffie Joseph trainee Skippylongstocking took charge early on and never looked back, crossing the wire five lengths in front in 1:51.37. It’s his second stakes win of the year, following a victory in the Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this year; he also won the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes on New Year’s Eve. The 4-year-old now sports a record of 6-2-3 from 19 starts with earnings of $1,507,185. He’s owned by Daniel Alonso and was ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.
SECOND STAR: VAHVA. One race prior, 3-year-old fillies took center stage in the Charles Town Oaks. New York shipper Vahva rated off the pace, rallied three-wide in the stretch, and kicked on to win by 1 1/4 lengths. She ran seven furlongs in 1:25.01 for her first stakes victory and third overall. She’s owned by a partnership led by Belladonna Racing LLC, trained by Cherie DeVaux, and ridden by John Velazquez.
THIRD STAR: IL MIRACOLO. Parx hosted its local Pennsylvania Derby prep on Tuesday, when nine 3-year-olds did battle in the Smarty Jones Stakes. Il Miracolo, most recently second in the Curlin Stakes, struck the front at the top of the stretch and held on to win by three lengths despite drifting out in the stretch. The victory improved his career mark to 3-4-0 from 13 starts and increased his earnings to $311,625. Luis Saez was aboard for owner Eduardo Soto and trainer Antonio Sano.
- Laurel Park picks and ponderings: December 3, 2023We provide full-card picks and analysis for this afternoon’s races at Laurel Park.
FIRST STAR: KIERON MAGEE. Earned his 1,000th career win on Sunday as Viking Queen took the second race.
SECOND STAR: RESPONSE TIME. Maryland-bred daughter of Mosler drew off to win Saturday’s Timonium Distaff Stakes.
THIRD STAR: AL LOVES JOSIE. Lasted on the lead to win an open allowance on Sunday.
Charles Town Races
FIRST STAR: SKIPPYLONGSTOCKING. Even without White Abarrio in his barn, Saffie Joseph may have a hot hand for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
SECOND STAR: VAHVA. Continued a breakout year for DeVaux and continued a great 24-hour stretch for her sire, Gun Runner.
THIRD STAR: SOCIETY. Last year’s Cotillion Stakes winner, also a daughter of Gun Runner, took Friday’s Pink Ribbon Stakes for her second win in a row; will she help make it a graded stakes next year?
FIRST STAR: SMITHWICK’S SPICE. Sat the trip and got up to beat second-level allowance optional claiming foes on Wednesday; hard-knocking Jersey-bred is now 9-for-33 lifetime with 21 top-three finishes.
SECOND STAR: MAINLINE. Rallied four-wide and kicked away to win a first-level allowance sprint on Thursday.
THIRD STAR: AFFABLE MONARCH. Ran down a clear early leader to take Saturday’s first-level allowance optional claiming feature.
FIRST STAR: SIR LANCELOT. Last year’s Fitz Dixon Memorial Stakes winner picked p the first win of his 3-year-old season on Saturday with a three-length win in a sophomore handicap.
SECOND STAR; CHAMBEAU. Virginia-bred mare went gate-to-wire against second-level foes later on the Saturday card.
THIRD STAR: SEAL BEACH. Returned first off a five-month layoff to soundly beat a second-level group on dirt Thursday.
FIRST STAR: NOTED. At least Repole and Pletcher got one stakes win on Saturday; this one overcame a wide trip to win Saturday’s Sapling Stakes.
SECOND STAR: MIA’S CRUSADE. Earned her second stakes win of the Monmouth season on Sunday, defeating fellow Jersey-breds in the Eleven North Handicap.
THIRD STAR: SPEAKING. Lasted through early pace pressure to win the New Jersey Breeders’ Handicap earlier on Sunday.
FIRST STAR: IL MIRACOLO. Secured his spot in the Pennsylvania Derby starting gate with his Smarty Jones win.
SECOND STAR: FOGGY NIGHT. Butch Reid-trained filly picked up her second stakes win of the year in Tuesday’s Cathryn Sophia Stakes.
THIRD STAR: TWISTED RIDE. This son of Great Notion rebounded to win Monday’s Banjo Picker Sprint Stakes; would likely be favored in the Maryland Million Sprint if he goes.
- Martina Rojas: “Nothing like loving your job”Preternaturally driven apprentice rider Martina Rojas has opened some eyes of late with solid meets at Presque Isle, Timonium, Pimlico and now Laurel.