MID-ATLANTIC THREE STARS: september 18
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: HIGHESTDISTINCTION. The headliner of Saturday’s Pimlico card was the Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup, going a mile on grass. Lindsay Schultz-trained Highestdistinction won his second graded stakes race in a row, getting it done by 3 3/4 lengths after rating off early leader King Vega. He ran a mile over a good grass course in 1:36.63, and improved to to 3-6 on the year and 5-for-21 lifetime. The Willow Lane Stables Inc. homebred was ridden by Jairo Rendon.
SECOND STAR: CROSS BORDER. Not long before the BWI Turf Cup, Delaware hosted a grass stakes of their own, as older males traveled 1 1/2 miles in the Cape Henlopen Stakes. 9-year-old veteran Cross Border ran down longtime leader Tawny Port to win by 2 1/2 lengths and pull an 8-1 upset. He rated in mid-pack for most of the way, then moved five-wide off the turn under Ruben Silvera and converted the well-timed move to victory. It’s the fifth stakes win of his 52-race career, and boosted his career earnings to $1,333,258. He’s owned by Three Diamonds Farm and trained by Mike Maker.
THIRD STAR: FULL COUNT FELICIA. Earlier on Pimlico’s Saturday card, fillies and mares took to the lawn in the All Along Stakes. Full Count Felicia, making her second start off a long layoff, won impressively. She set the early pace and received some light pressure, but powered away from the others and drew off win by 8 1/2 lengths, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.76. Sheldon Russell was aboard for Gold Square LLC and trainer Brittany Russell.
- Notes from Pennsylvania Derby daySome news, notes, and observations from a rainy, messy but exciting day at Parx Racing, where the Pennsylvania Derby was run Saturday.
FIRST STAR: HIGHESTDISTINCTION. He’s found his best self as a 6-year-old as Schultz continues her breakthrough year.
SECOND STAR: FULL COUNT FELICIA. The All Along might be the first of many stakes wins for this promising filly.
THIRD STAR: DOLLARIZATION. Pulled an 18-1 shocker in Saturday’s Lite the Fuse Stakes by coming on in the center of the track from off the pace.
Charles Town Races
FIRST STAR: CHRISTIAN HIRALDO. Rode four winners on Friday’s card, including a sweep of the last three.
SECOND STAR: RIDICULOUS. Got up to win a starter allowance race on Thursday for his third victory of the year, upsetting 1-5 favorite Jayjaydee in the process.
THIRD STAR: AXEL CONCEPCION. Earned a hat trick on Thursday and rode five winners in total on the week.
FIRST STAR: CROSS BORDER. Lovable veteran earned another notch in his belt on Saturday.
SECOND STAR: JAIME RODRIGUEZ. Went a long way to securing another riding title with a five-win afternoon on Thursday, four of which came on Jamie Ness-trained runners.
THIRD STAR: HAZARDOUS HUMOR. Won a first-level allowance contest by almost five lengths in gate-to-wire fashion on Friday.
FIRST STAR: PHANTOM SMOKE. Broke on top and cruised from there to win a first-level dash on Saturday.
SECOND STAR: JOY AND PROSPERITY. Got up in the last few strides to win Friday’s feature, a Jersey-bred first-level allowance.
THIRD STARS: KENT SWEEZEY AND JOSE DELGADO. These two each won two races opening weekend to pace the trainer standings.
FIRST STAR: ROADTRIPTONOWHERE. Rated just off the pace and kicked away to win a first-level race on Monday for his third victory of the year.
SECOND STAR: AMATERASU. Easily beat a starter optional claiming field on Tuesday; she’s now hit the board in all six starts this year.
THIRD STAR: JEBOLOGIST. Got up late to win a conditioned claiming race on Monday for his first win of the season.
- 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.