Archive for June 2018

Aztec Sense wins fourth straight in Turning for Home

06-23-18 P 08 Aztec Sense FIN 01 (1)Aztec Sense withstood a claim of foul Saturday to win his fourth straight race in the $100,000 Turning for Home, a starter handicap at Parx. He won by 3 1/2 lengths over Moon Gate Warrior. Click here to read article from DRF. The Turning for Home, a 1 1/16-mile race restricted to horses who had started for a claiming price of $16,000 or less in 2017 or 2018, was named for a Thoroughbred retirement program. All entry and start fees for the race were to be donated to Turning for Home. Aztec Sense ($3.40) stalked the pace through fractions of 24.01 seconds for the opening quarter, 48.83 for the half-mile, and 1:14.31 for six furlongs. Moon Gate Warrior moved to the lead from there, with Aztec Sense going after the rival, overtaking him at the top of the stretch, and going on to cover the distance on a track rated good in 1:47.53. Following the race, Josh Navarro, the rider of third-place finisher Ruby Bleu, claimed foul against the winner for alleged interference at the five-eighths pole, it was announced at Parx. The stewards disallowed the claim of foul and the result stood. Paco Lopez rode Aztec Sense for trainer Jorge Navarro. Aztec Sense is a son of Street Sense who races for Joseph Besecker. -additional reporting by Jim Dunleavy

Chalon wins Regret Stakes; Chublicious prevails in Mr. Prospector

06-17-18 08 Chalon_RegretStks_01Chalon showed she is more than ready to step up in class by easily winning the $75,000 Regret, the first of four stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday. And she likely will get that chance at Saratoga. Click here to read article from DRF. The Regret was Chalon's third start for trainer Arnaud Delacour and the Lael Stables of Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who purchased her privately from California-based Rockingham Ranch following her 3-year-old season, which she concluded with runner-up finishes in the Thoroughbred Club of America and Raven Run, both Grade 2 stakes at Keeneland. In the Regret, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, Chalon stalked pacesetting Behrnik's Bank through an opening quarter in 22.03 seconds. She took the lead while in hand after a half-mile in 44.85, was under a moderate hand ride by Paco Lopez in midstretch, then was taken back in hand for the final sixteenth while winning by four lengths. Chalon paid $3 in the six-horse field and was timed in 1:10.05. She certainly could have gone faster if asked. After the race, Delacour said Chalon would be pointed to the Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga on July 25. "We thought this would be a perfect stepping-stone for the Honorable Miss, which is at six furlongs," he said. "The grading is appealing because she has done everything except win in a graded stakes, so it's going to be important for us to try to do that." Startwithsilver, the second choice at 5-2, made Chalon's task easier when she broke tardily and then failed to get involved, finishing last. Jessica Krupnick, who was forwardly placed along the inside early, finished second, a neck ahead of third-place Liz's Cable Girl. Behrnik's Bank tired to finish fifth. Chalon won the Primonetta Stakes at Laurel Park in her debut for Delacour and was second in the Grade 3 Vagrancy at Belmont Park last time out. The daughter of Dialed In has a 5-3-1 record from 11 starts. The Regret was the second leg of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships filly and mare sprint division. Chalon is now tied for the lead with Vertical Oak, who won the Skipat at Pimlico. They each have 10 points. Mr. Prospector: Chublicious outbattles Lewisfield The New Jersey-bred Chublicious outfought Lewisfield in the stretch of the $75,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes to score by a half-length. Chublicious, making his first start in the name of trainer David Cannizzo, improved his record at Monmouth to nine wins in 15 starts. He also won the Mr. Prospector in 2016 and has three other New Jersey-bred stakes victories. His biggest win came last fall in the Grade 3 De Francis Dash at Laurel Park. Delta Bluesman broke sharply in the six-furlong Mr. Prospector and went to the lead. He was joined from the outside by a headstrong Lewisfield on the backstretch as they separated themselves from the rest of the lineup through a quarter in 22.16. Lewisfield took the lead from Delta Bluesman nearing the stretch but was quickly joined by a three-wide Chublicious. The pair battled to midstretch before Chublicious got the upper hand under jockey Antonio Gallardo. "We had a pretty good pace in front of us," Gallardo said. "I had a lot of horse at the three-eighths, and that's a good sign." Chublicious paid $16.80 in the eight-horse field. His final time was 1:09.92 following a half-mile in 45.00. Laki finished third, two lengths behind Lewisfield. Chublicious is owned by Brittany Stable, which purchased him last fall after his De Francis win. He raced at Fair Grounds over the winter and finished second in the New Jersey-bred John J. Reilly at Monmouth in his last start for trainer Ron Faucheux. Chublicious won the Reilly in 2016 and 2017. The Mr. Prospector win tied Chublicious for second with Maryland Sprint winner Switzerland in the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships sprint division with 10 points. Lewisfield, who finished third in the Maryland Sprint, earned seven points in the Mr. Prospector and leads the pack with 12 points.

Oak Bluffs surges in Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup

OakBluffs.6-2-18.ESH_GRANTVILLE, Pa. – Two weeks ago, Oak Bluffs slogged his way to a third-place finish in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint, the first leg of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships turf sprint division, over a soft course at Pimlico. On Saturday at Penn National, he got a firm course, which he prefers, and was more explosive in winning the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup. Click here to read article from DRF. Oak Bluffs has now won six races since being claimed by Mary Eppler for $5,000 in May 2016. He was the only horse from the McKay to run back on short rest in the Governor’s Cup, and now is the point leader in his division of the Match Series. His win keeps Eppler’s hot streak going. Last week she won the $100,000 Salvator Mile at Monmouth with Page McKenney. “We’re going to stay with the MATCH Series,” Eppler said of Oak Bluffs. The third leg of the five-race series is the $200,000 Parx Dash on July 7. That race, like the Governor’s Cup, is five furlongs. “He’s better at a little longer distance, 5 1/2 furlongs or six furlongs,” Eppler said. Jockey Paco Lopez saved ground off the pace with Oak Bluff in the Governor’s Cup. He angled out for the stretch run, overtook front-running Pool Winner and then held off late-running Dubini by three-quarters of a length. Oak Bluffs paid $6.80 in the 10-horse field. He was timed in 56.10 over firm turf. Morticia back on the beam Morticia scored her first win of the season in the inaugural running of the $100,000 Penn Ladies Dash at Penn National on Saturday. Jockey Jose Lezcano, who has now won six races on Morticia, asked only as much as he needed from her and eased up late in the five-furlong turf sprint, winning by a length. Morticia was timed in 56.35 seconds over firm turf. The Penn Ladies Dash was the fourth start of the season for Morticia, who went 6 for 8 last season at 3, while winning stakes at Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Belmont Park, and Saratoga. Trainer Rusty Arnold was pleased to get the daughter of Twirling Candy back in the winner’s circle. She had finished second twice and third once in her first three starts of the season at Gulfstream, Keeneland, and Churchill. “The year didn’t get off the way we wanted, but she’s run well every time,” Arnold said. “Her races were good, they just weren’t winning races and I’m glad to see her get back on track.” For much of the Penn Ladies Dash, it was a two-horse affair. Just Talkin set the pace on a short lead with Morticia to her inside. When Lezcano asked entering the stretch, Morticia took over. “She went on to win very easy,” Lezcano said Rocky Policy, a 20-1 longshot, came running late to beat Just Talkin for second by a length Arnold had a few anxious moments prior to the race when Morticia popped a shoe off. “She was in the barn playing around and she kicked the wall,” Arnold said. “She’s a little difficult. And she knocked a shoe off. “I can’t say enough about the paddock blacksmith. He came down and got the shoe back on her.” The paddock blacksmith at Penn National is Roger Imes. Morticia is now 7 for 13 in her career. Arnold said she could run next in the $200,000 Career Stakes at Saratoga, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint on July 23. The Penn Ladies Dash was the second leg of the fillies and mares turf sprint division of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships. “The MATCH series is a really good idea,” Arnold said. “We’d like to support it. It’s a possibility.” The next leg of the MATCH Series is the $100,000 Turf Amazon, a five-furlong turf sprint at Parx on July 7.

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