Belmont weekend stars lead Top Midlantic-bred Polls

Impressive Belmont weekend performances by several Midlantic-breds had a major impact on the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll released today.

A sharp score by Book’em Danno in the Grade 1 Woody Stephens has that runner at the head of the three-year-old class, while his runner-up outing in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap was sufficient to keep Post Time atop the list for older horses.

A bevy of other Midlantic-breds also had productive Belmont weekend outings, including G2 Intercontinental winner Future Is Now and runner-up Roses for Debra, G1 Belmont runner-up Mindframe, and G1 New York runner-up Neecie Marie.

The New Jersey-bred Book’em Danno, a three-year-old gelding by Bucchero, has developed into perhaps the best sophomore sprinter in the country. Undefeated at distances under a mile, Book’em Danno’s 2024 resume includes wins in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and most recently in the Woody Stephens.

In the Woody Stephens, Book’em Danno, under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., went well clear in the stretch before holding off the late charge of post time favorite Prince of Monaco. It was the first graded stakes win of Book’em Danno’s career and pushed his lifetime bankroll to more than $845,000.

Out of the Ghostzapper mare Adorabella, Book’em Danno was bred in New Jersey by Gregory J. Kilka and Bright View Farm. He is owned by Atlantic Six Racing LLC and trained by Derek Ryan.


RankWriteupMost recent start
1Book’em Danno (NJ), 3G by Bucchero-Adorabella, by Ghostzapper; bred by Gregory J. Kilka & Bright View Farm and trained by Derek Ryan for Atlantic Six Racing, LLC. 2024 highlights: Won G1 Woody Stephens, Pasco S., 2nd Grp. 3 Saudi DerbyWon G1 Woody Stephens
2Mindframe (MD), 3C by Constitution-Walk of Stars, by Street Sense; bred by R. Larry Johnson and trained by Todd Pletcher for Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables LLC. 2024 highlights: 2nd G1 Belmont2nd G1 Belmont S.
3Call Another Play (MD), 3F by Audible-Past as Prelude, by Bernardini; bred by R. Larry Johnson and trained by Michael Trombetta for R. Larry Johnson. 2024 highlights: Won Weber City Miss, 3rd G2 Black-Eyed Susan3rd G2 Black-Eyed Susan S.
4Uncle Heavy (PA), 3C by Social Inclusion-Expect Wonderful, by Tiz Wonderful; bred by Barbara Reid and trained by Robert Reid, Jr. for Michael Milam. 2024 highlights: Won G3 Withers S.5th G3 Ohio Derby
5Speedyness (MD), 3G by Great Notion-Hartigan, by Include; bred by Jagger, Inc. and trained by Jamie Ness for Kernan, Jr., Morris E. and Jagger Inc.. 2024 highlights: Won Miracle Wood S.6th James Murphy S.


While Book’em Danno has been building his case for top sophomore over time, a successful two-year-old campaign leading to a better sophomore season, the runner-up to date in the three-year-old poll has emerged quite suddenly.

That’s the Maryland-bred Mindrame, who as late as March had not yet made a start. Now, less than three months from his unveiling, the Constitution colt is ranked second among Midlantic-bred sophomores and looks poised to assume a role as one of the best of his generation nationally.

Mindframe, trained by Todd Pletcher for Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables LLC, won his first two starts with consummate ease  In the Belmont with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons, he was never far off a pace set by Seize the Grey and then Dornoch, bid to even terms and even briefly put a head in front in the stretch, then shied outward in midstretch and ultimately settled for second, just a half-length behind winner Dornoch.

Mindframe is 2-for-3 in his career and has nearly $450,000 in earnings. He is out of the Street Sense mare Walk of Stars and was bred by R. Larry Johnson, also the breeder of the fourth-ranked among older horses, Future Is Now.

Among older runners, the hard-hitting Maryland-bred Post Time reigns supreme. Though no match for winner National Treasure in the Met Mile, Post Time rallied willingly under jockey Sheldon Russell, husband of Post Time’s trainer Brittany Russell, to be second.

Post Time has run five times this year, winning three, including the Grade 2 Carter and Grade 3 General George. In his two most recent starts he was second. In all, Post Time has eight wins from 11 starts and has never been worse than third.

Post Time is by Frosted out of the stakes-winning Fairbanks mare Vielsalm. He was bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Dr. Brooke Bowman, and Milton P. Higgins, III. He is owned by Hillwood Stable LLC.

Rounding out the list of three-year-olds are Call Another Play, Uncle Heavy, and Speedyness. After Post Time among older horses are I’m Very Busy, Neecie Marie, Future Is Now, and Roses for Debra.


RankWriteupMost recent start
1Post Time (MD), 4C by Frosted-Vielsalm, by Fairbanks; bred by Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Dr. Brooke Bowman & Milton P. Higgins III and trained by Brittany Russell for Hillwood Stable LLC. 2024 highlights: Won G2 Carter, G3 General George, Jennings S., 2nd G1 Metropolitan, G3 Westchester2nd G1 Metropolitan Handicap
2I’m Very Busy (PA), 4C by Cloud Computing-Two Kisses, by Kissin Kris; bred by Glenn Brok and Mark Toothaker and trained by Chad Brown for Team Hanley, Schermerhorn, Richard and Braverman, Paul. 2024 highlights: Won G2 Muniz Memorial Classic, 2nd G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf7th G1 Manhattan
3Neecie Marie (PA), 4F by Cross Traffic-Lode Lady, by Posse; bred by Jon A. Marshall and trained by Butch Reid for Michael Milam. 2024 highlights: Won G3 Beaugay, 2nd G1 New York2nd G1 New York
4Future Is Now (MD), 4F by Great Notion-Past as Prelude, by Bernardini; bred by R. Larry Johnson and trained by Michael Trombetta for R. Larry Johnson. 2024 highlights: Won G2 Intercontinental, The Very OneWon G2 Intercontinental
5Roses for Debra (PA), 5M by Liam’s Map-Essential Rose, by Bernardini; bred by Blackstone Farm LLC and trained by Christophe Clement for Cheyenne Stable LLC and John O’Meara. 2024 highlights: Won G3 Giant’s Causeway, 2nd G2 Intercontinental2nd G2 Intercontinental

Six of the 10 horses in the two lists are males, while four are females. Five were bred in Maryland, while four were bred in Pennsylvania. One was bred in New Jersey

The monthly Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred is the only publication devoted to Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Racing Biz, an online publication, is the independent voice for mid-Atlantic racing and breeding.

The poll is conducted of media members and others involved in the Thoroughbred industry and restricted to horses that have run in 2024 and were bred in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Carolinas.

Participating Voters: Ted Black (freelance writer), Michael Campbell (Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey), Joe Clancy (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Cindy Deubler (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Linda Dougherty (freelance), Debbie Easter (Virginia Thoroughbred Association), Paul Espinosa (Charles Town Races), Rich Glazier (Delaware Park), Cricket Goodall (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Jim Hague (freelance), Nick Hahn (freelance), Carol Holden (West Virginia Breeders Classics), Tom LaMarra (Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Jeff Nations (freelance), Vinnie Perrone (freelance), Frank Petramalo (Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association), John Piassek (freelance), Gary Quill (The Racing Biz), David Richardson (Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Brian Sanfratello (Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association), Chris Sobocinski (Delaware Park), Dan Tordjman (freelance), Frank Vespe (The Racing Biz), Bill Watson (freelance), Lydia Williams (freelance), Bobby Zen (freelance).