The Breeders’ Cup Championships may have stolen the national horse racing headlines this past weekend — and Virginia connections were well represented — but six Virginia-bred horses earned state-wide recognition for triumphs this weekend, and five were by sizeable margins.
Alone Again, Chorus Line and Explore won by seven lengths or more while Realm and Northern Eclipse won by nearly five lengths. Up Hill Battle earned the toughest win of the six, crossing just a half length in front.
Alone Again collected her 5th straight “in the money” finish, a seven length triumph over nine other foes at Mahoning Valley on Friday. Bred by William Backer, the 6 year old daughter of Bandini pushed her career bankroll over the $80,000 mark. She is out of Stony Lonesome by Apalachee.
Chorus Line won her second straight race in New York, capturing a $58,000, seven furlong starter race for fillies and mares. This William Backer bred winner, a 3 year old daughter of Parading, won handily at Aqueduct by eight in her seven furlong test. She is 2-for-4 this year and has earned $59,900. Owners Frank Giammarino & Edward DeLauro won an additional 25% bonus courtesy of the VTA/HBPA Mid-Atlantic incentive program.
Explore earned his owners, the LVR Stable, their 4th Mid-Atlantic bonus since July 1st by winning again at Mountaineer Park. The 5 year old Stroll gelding keeps plugging along consistently. The dominating eight length win pushed his career bankroll over the six figure mark, to $101,501. Bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone, Explore is out of Elsie Jay by Giant’s Causeway.
In eight career starts, Realm has stockpiled $136,455 in earnings for co-owners Eric Dattner, Barclay Tagg and Harry Astarita. The 3 year old Haynesfield gelding, bred by the Morgan’s Ford Farm, was best by 4 3/4 lengths Saturday in a $67,000 allowance clash at Aqueduct. He covered the one mile in 1:36.90. He is out of the Astarita mare, Shawnee Country.
Northern Eclipse, another Firestone-bred victor, was triumphant at Laurel Friday in a $22,000 maiden claimer. The 4 year old daughter of Northern Afleet was claimed though for $16,000 after winning for the first time in six lifetime starts. The Arnaud Delacour trainee is out of the Giant’s Causeway mare, Elsie Jay.
Up Hill Battle was an upset winner in tight fashion Saturday, winning by one-half length at Penn National in a six furlong allowance test. Bred by the Johnson Brothers Stable and owned by the Z and Z Stables, the 3 year old filly stayed the course as a successful ’16 campaign rolled on. She now has 7 top three finishes in 11 starts and has earned $62,295. Up Hill battle is by Street Magician out of Pennyhill by Saint Ballado.