July 25 * The Racing Biz


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

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

Laurel Park

Cyberknife (inside) prevailed in the Haskell. Photo By Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO.

FIRST STAR: NOBLE BID. The job for this 3-year-old filly on Saturday was made much easier when her chief rival, Acadian Girl, scratched. That left Noble Bid, who had shown some promise but had just a 1-for-4 record going into the race, as the even-money choice in the five-horse field. She made short work of the field, opening up a clear lead early on and drawing away late to a 5 1/2-lenght win. She ran six furlongs on a hot afternoon in 1:10.30, for owner Winners Circle Partners XII, trainer Damon Dilodovico, and jockey Horacio Karamanos.

SECOND STAR: CAVALIER CUPID. A field of six filly and mare grass sprinters assembled in Friday’s feature, a second-level allowance optonal claiming race. Epic Idea went off as the 8-5 favorite, but proved no factor and finished fourth. Meanwhile, 19-10 second choice Cavalier Cupid ran the field off their feet, setting the pace and cruising to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Justalittleviolent closed well late, but Cavalier Cupid was never in serious danger of being caught. She won the Keswick Stakes at Colonial Downs last year, and won for the first time this year in the second start of the season. She’s a homebred for owner Big Lick Farm. Karamanos also rode this one, for trainer Sarah Nagle.

THIRD STAR: RAD PAISLEY. Earlier on the Friday card, this Maryland-bred 4-year-old gelding won a first-level allowance race on the dirt in a mild 11-1 upset. He battled on the lead from his inside with He’s Orientate, then shook off that rival and moved away in the stretch. He crossed the wire three lengths in front, running a career-best Equibase speed figure of 96. He’s owned by the L and K Stable, trained by Kieron Magee, and ridden by Carlos Lopez.

Delaware Park

FIRST STAR: SHACKS WAY. Although he saw his win streak snapped in his prior start, Shacks Way might’ve started a new one on Thursday. He went off as the second choice in a competitive second-level allowance optional claiming race at 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt, and went gate-to-wire in a sharp 3 1/4-length triumph. He won four in a row earlier in the year, but then finished fifth on a sloppy track after his jockey lost the irons at the start. He had no such trouble on Thursday, and the end result was an easy win. Angel Suarez had the mount for trainer Greg Compton, who co-owns with Danny Brown and Chris Brenneman.

SECOND STAR: SUBSTANTIAL. After an 0-for-4 start to the season, this Jamie Ness trainee has started to find his best stride. He made it two wins in a row on Saturday, going gate-to-wire to win a starter optional claiming race by 2 1/2 lengths. He got in a three-ply duel early on with Swing West and iron horse Beverly Park, dueling for the lead in the three-path. Despite racing wide, Substantial got the better of his rivals and pulled clear late. He 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.68, with Jaime Rodriguez aboard for owners Troy Johnson and Jagger Inc.

THIRD STAR: V.I.P. CODE. Ness and Rodriguez teamed up once again on this veteran, who won for the fourth time in his last five races on Wednesday. Sent off as the odds-on favorite in a starter optional claiming race, he prompted the pace while racing wide in the early stages, then battled with Petulant Delight in the stretch and got up late to win by three-quarters of a length. This hard-knocking Maryland-bred veteran has won thirteen times from 38 career starts, with earnings of just under $400,000. He’s owned by Jagger Inc and James Wolf.

Charles Town Races

FIRST STAR: THE SKY IS FALLING. Charles Town hosted a pair of West Virginia-bred stakes races on Saturday night, a card delayed 45 minutes due to a rainstorm. The Sylvia Bishop Memorial Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies, showcased last year’s West Virginia-bred champion 2-year-old filly, The Sky is Falling. When her main rival, Silky Serena, scratched, The Sky is Falling was left as the odds-on choice in the five-horse field. She rated off clear early leader Hessica and rolled to the front in the stretch, crossing the wire 2 1/2 lengths in front. She’s now 3-for-4 on the year, and 6-for-8 lifetime. She’s owned by David Raim, trained by Jeff Runco, and ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.

SECOND STAR: FREE SAILIN. One race later, 3-year-old males did battle in the Robert G. Leavitt Stakes. Free Sailin, who shipped in from Thistledown, was bet down off a 20-1 morning line and went off at 7-2. He rallied three-wide entering the stretch under Angel Diaz, and drew off late for a 2 1/4-length victory. He’s won five times from nine career starts, with this his first career outing in his home state. Jason DaCosta is the winning owner and trainer.

THIRD STAR: TIZ THE REASON. This West Virginia-bred won three of her first four starts on the year, but entered Saturday with three straight runner-up finishes. She broke out of that streak and won for the fifth time this year. Sent off as the 13-10 favorite in a first-level allowance race, she broke on top, opened a long early lead, and drew away to win by 6 14 lengths. She ran 4 1/2 furlongs over a sloppy track in 52.09 seconds, for owner Kenneth Brown, trainer Ronney Brown, and jockey Carlos Lopez.

Monmouth Park

FIRST STAR: CYBERKNIFE. Going into the TVG. com Haskell Stakes on Saturday, all the attention was focused on Jack Christopher and Taiba. The former went off as the favorite off an impressive win in the Woody Stephens Stakes, while the latter was the second choice. Although he disappointed in the Kentucky Derby, he won the Santa Anita Derby in just his second start. However, Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife had other ideas. He rallied up the rail in the stretch and fended off Taiba to win by a head. He set a new track record for 1 1/8 miles, going the distance over an extremely fast track in 1:46.24. That broke Highly Motivated’s few-hours-old track record of 1:46.53. Cyberknife is owned by Gold Quare LLC, trained by Brad Cox, and ridden by Florent Geroux.

SECOND STARS: CHAD BROWN AND FLAVIEN PRAT. When arguably the country’s top trainer and arguably the country’s top jockey team up, they’re likely to do some damage. Brown and Prat did just that on Saturday, winning four graded stakes races. In addition to Highly Motivated’s aforementioned win in the Monmouth Cup, they teamed up to win the Molly Pitcher Stakes with Search Results, who like Highly Motivated, is owned by Klaravich Stables, the WinStar Matchmaker Stakes with Lemista, for owner Peter Brant, and the United Nations Stakes with Adhamo. These four wins were Prat’s first of the Monmouth season, while Brown now has eight wins on the season. That’s tied for eighth in the standings with Greg Sacco.

THIRD STAR: ADHAMO. Much like he did when he won the Manhattan Stakes, Tribhuvan set a loose early lead in the early stages of the United Nations Stakes. Although Adhamo fell short of catching his stablemate in the Manhattan and finished second, he got his revenge in the U.N. Under Prat, he made a well-timed move in the stretch and kicked clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths. It was his first win of the year from four starts, and his first graded stakes win in the United States. He’s owned by Madaket Stables LLC, Michael Dubb, and Louis Lazzinnaro LLC.

Parx Racing

FIRST STAR: FORTHELUVOFBOURBON. This Pennsylvania-bred gelding continued an impressive campaign last Tuesday, winning an open allowance race by 3 1/2 lengths. He broke from the outside post in the seven-furlong contest, and rated in third place early on. He drew alongside Monday Morning Qb and Senior Investment in the stretch, then kicked clear and drew off in the last eighth. He ran the distance in 1:24.33, for owner Smart Angle LLP, trainer Michael Pino, and jockey Paco Lopez.

SECOND STAR: YES SIR COLONEL. Earlier on Tuesday, Yes Sir Colonel made his first start at Parx and won a second-level allowance optional claiming race by a nose. Ruby Bleu set the pace early on and fended off all challenges, but Yes Sir Colonel continued to grind away in the stretch and got up to spring a 19-1 upset. He won two in a row at Penn National to start the year, but was a dull fifth at Laurel Park prior to this race. Jorge Vargas had the winning mount for owner JKX Racing and trainer Bobbi Hawthorne.

THIRD STAR: PHILADELPHIA BELLE. Wednesday’s featured contest was a second-level allowance optional claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Philadelphia Belle got a great trip stalking the pace and powered away to win by 2 1/2 lengths. She ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.08, for owner/breeder Nick Polydoros, trainer Kathleen Demasi, and rider Paco Lopez.


FIRST STAR; FRONT RUN THE FED. Colonial Downs hosted a pair of stakes races on Monday. In the first one, the Van Clief Stakes, Maryland-bred Grateful Bred had a clear lead in the stretch, but was chased down late by Front Run the Fed, who was making his first start of the year. The George Sharp-owned 6-year-old competed in tough graded stakes races for most of last year, but found listed stakes company more to his liking. He’s trained by Calo Caramori and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

SECOND STAR: CHANGE OF CONTROL. Two races later, filly and mare grass sprinters did battle in the Andy Guest Stakes. Change of Control, who had finished in the superfecta without a win in her last five starts, broke through as the 7-5 favorite with a professional 1 1/4-length win. She prompted the pace and got by early leader Jeanie B late for the win. A four-time stakes winner last year, this was her first stakes win of 2022. She’s owned by Perry Harrison, trained by Michelle Lovell, and ridden by Colby Hernandez.

THIRD STAR: DIDIA. Sandwiched between the two stakes races was a second-level allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares on the grass. Didia, a multiple Grade 1 winner in Argentina, was the 7-2 second choice in her American debut. Keeper of Time was the 3-5 favorite, but she could do no better than third behind the South American invader. Didia came through in the two-path after stalking the leaders and got up to win by a length under Vincent Cheminaud. She’s owned by Merriebelle Stable LLC and trained by Ignacio Correas.

Region’s Best

  1. Cyberknife- Establishing himself as a 3-year-old star.
  2. Chad Brown/Flavien Prat
  3. Adhamo