Last weekend Charles Town put the finishing touches on the official winter portion of the racing slate for 2023 as owners, trainers, jockeys and onlookers began to welcome the spring portion of the schedule that officially gets underway tomorrow night.
At the midway mark of the St. Patrick’s Day program last Friday night, No Denying Denis (Orlando Bocachica) rallied from well off the pace for a very mild upset in a two-turn maiden special-weight event for state-bred three-year-old fillies. A sophomore daughter of Denis Of Cork trained by Ronald Sigler for owner-breeder Taylor Mountain Farm, No Denying Denis garnered her diploma in her third start this year and seventh overall while getting the 7 furlongs in 1:31.01 as the 3-1 second choice and outlasting 44-1 outsider Sneaky Lynk.
Two races earlier in a two-turn maiden special-weight event for fillies and mares, Harley Girl (Denis Araujo) easily lived up to her billing as the 3-5 favorite when she surged to command midway down the backside then drew clear in the lane under confident handling to a six-length score. A four-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper trained by Jose Corrales for owner Stronach Stables, Harley Girl graduated handily in her local debut and second career outing while getting the 7 furlongs in 1:28.39 as the odds-on choice.
Then several races earlier in the Friday opener, Collectorate (Walter Cullum) lived up to his role as the 7-5 favorite in a two-turn maiden special weight for three-year-old males when he gained command through the clubhouse turn and led throughout en route to a three-length score. A sophomore son of Collected trained by Sherry L. Jackson for owner SRF Racing Stable LLC, Collectorate graduated in his second seasonal try and ninth overall while getting the 6½ furlongs in 1:21.85 over a fast track as the solid choice.
Then one night earlier in the penultimate race on the Thursday card, Jungle Beast (Carlos Lopez) forged a mild upset when he surged to command on the far turn while veering on sharply on a rival then edged clear to a two-length score. A four-year-old son of Golden Years trained by Javier Contreras for owner-breeder O’Sullivan Farms, Jungle Beast recorded his first win in three starts this year and now owns a 7-4-2 slate and $250,000 banked from 16 career tries after getting the seven panels in 1:27.85 as the 2-1 second choice.
One week earlier on the Saturday card, No Change (Marshall Mendez) just lived up to his role as the 9-5 favorite when he rallied from well off the pace and just got up late for a nose victory. A five-year-old Fiber Sonde gelding owned and trained by Cynthia McKee, No Change kicked off his current campaign with a determined triumph and now owns a 12-6-3 slate and nearly $340,000 banked from 27 career outings after getting the 6½-furlongs in 1:19.65.
Two races earlier in another two-turn allowance for older males, Late in the Game (Gustavo Larrosa) forged a very mild upset when he rallied from last early for a nose victory. A four-year-old son of Denis of Cork now trained by Ronald Sigler for owner-breeder Taylor Mountain Farm, Late in the Game recorded his first win in three starts this year and now owns a 6-8-4 slate and over $210,000 banked from 22 career outings while getting the 7 furlongs in 1:27.44 as the 7-2 second choice.
That same afternoon at Gulfstream Park, Frank’s Rockette (Junior Alvarado) easily lived up to her role as the 3-5 favorite in the Grade III, $125,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes for fillies and mares when she gained command early then drew clear late to a six-length score. A six-year-old daughter of Into Mischief trained by Bill Mott for owner-breeder Frank Fletcher, Frank’s Rockette kicked off her current campaign with her second-straight graded stakes score and now owns an 11-9-3 slate and $1.3 million bankroll from 26 career outings, which includes a victory in the $250,000 Pink Ribbon Stakes at Charles Town last summer.
Then one night earlier at the midway point of the Friday card, Xanthe (Victor Rodriguez) forge a mild 3-1 upset when she rallied from well off the pace to capture a two-turn allowance for state-bred fillies and mares. A sophomore daughter of Aldrin owned and trained by Gerasimos Moschanos, Xanthe notched her first win in two starts this year and second victory in six career outings while getting the seven furlongs in 1:28.63 as the solid third choice.
One night earlier in the opener on the Thursday, March 9 card, Feel The Love (Orlando Bocachica) forged a genuine 11-1 upset in a two-turn allowance for state-bred fillies and mares when she surged to command in deep stretch and edged clear to a length score. A five-year-old Jump Start mare trained by Anthony Lucas for owner Gillisberg Racing, Feel The Love notched her first win in three starts now owns a 4-1-8 slate and $110,000 banked from 24 career outings after getting the seven furlongs in 1:28.69.
Then several races later in a two-turn maiden special-weight event for state-bred fillies and mares, Dreamy Sonde (Arnaldo Bocachica) forged a mild upset in her career when she rallied from well off the pace for a two-length score. A sophomore daughter of Fiber Sonde trained by Jeff Runco for owners Lawrence Pascal and Arthur Harding, Dreamy Sonde prevailed at first asking by getting the 4½ furlongs in 53.60.
Then two races later in a two-turn maiden special for state-bred males, Time To Choose forged a mild upset when he rallied from well off the pace and split rivals late for a two-length score. A sophomore son of Windsor Castle trained by Kristy Petty for late owner-breeder John A. Casey, Time To Choose graduated in his fourth start this year and ninth overall while getting the seven panels in 1:29.25 as the 4-1 second choice.
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