Virginia-bred horses scored wins at six different tracks around North America the week leading up to Memorial Day including a pair during opening week festivities at Delaware Park.
Pauper’s Queen, an 8 year old daughter of Royal Academy bred by Atkins Homes Inc., started the week off by winning a $17,000 one mile waiver claiming race at Presque Isle in Erie, Pennsylvania. The Gerald Brooks trainee was last in the eight horse field at the half before staging a nice four wide rally in the stretch to edge Latika Love by a neck at the wire in 1:38.96. Out of the Robellino mare, Regallino, Pauper’s Queen earned her 8th career victory from 56 starts and saw her bankroll rise to the $157,900 mark. She broke her maiden back in 2012 at Colonial Downs.
Last Wednesday, Runninginthevale collected a fairly easy gate to wire score at Delaware in a $17,000 maiden claimer, also at the mile distance. Bred and owned by Mary Slade, the 4 year old Fear The Cape gelding triggered fractions of :22.30, :47.98 and 1:12.86 before crossing in 1:39.69. His 6 1/4 length triumph earned praise from the chart callers — “Clearly the best without pressure.” Runninginthevale, a Gary Capuano trainee who is out of the Makin mare, Polly’s Persuasion, earned his first win from a dozen career outs.
Stormin Margaret collected her eighth career win and first at Finger Lakes by beating six other fillies and mares in a 6 furlong claiming race last Thursday. Bred by Rodger L. Smith, the 6 year old daughter of Here’s Zealous took over from second at the half and never looked back, winning by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:13.60. Stormin Margaret was making her 48th career start and took the winner’s share of a $9,000 purse. She is out of the Smoke Glacken mare, Storm in Philly.
Once More For Love finished with a burst of speed Friday to pull a mild upset in a 5 1/2 furlong, $23,000 allowance optional claiming race at Thistledown. The 4 year old daughter of Not For Love was in for a $20,000 claiming tag and battled in a tight field throughout until her late move. The victor won by 6 1/2 lengths and paid $17.80 to win. Once More For Love was bred Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin and is out of the Buckfinder mare, Classic Contender. She now has a pair of wins and seconds in six starts this year.
Sir Rockport’s victory on Saturday at Delaware Park brought the 4 year old Rockport Harbor gelding to within $4,000 of a six figure career bankroll. Bred by the Legacy Farms and Larry Johnson, Sir Rockport battled eight other contenders in the $38,000 allowance optional claimer at six furlongs. He broke alertly, raced close to the pace and ran down the leader under pressure in the final furlong. The Tim Ice trainee crossed in 1:10.62 and returned $10.60. He is out of the Partner’s Hero mare, Wonderous Woman. In 17 career starts, Sir Rockport has 3 wins, a runner up and 4 third place finishes.
On Sunday, Virginia-breds connected in a pair of sprints — one north of the border at Woodbine and the other back in the U.S. at Monmouth’s Jersey shore oval. Defondo, a 4 year old son of El Corredor, saw his bankroll surpass the $100,000 level with a two length triumph in a $39,800 claiming sprint while Everything Magic, a 3 year old daughter of Street Sense, rallied in the stretch for a convincing 9 length upset win in her $21,000 maiden claimer. The former is out of the Cure of the Blues mare, Blue Hills, and was bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone while the latter, out of the More Than Ready mare, More Than Magic, was bred and is owned by Larry Johnson. Defondo paid $6.50 to win and Everything Magic, sent off at 15-1, returned $31.80.