Virginia-breds Alex Joon and Ready and Rich captured back-to-back races at Churchill Downs December 1st to kick off holiday season in grand fashion.
Alex Joon dominated by 8 1/4 lengths in a $76,000 one mile maiden special weight race on dirt. The 2-year-old Flatter colt was seventh at the half but came back strong to finish in 1:37.36. The winner was bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm and is owned by Zayat Stables. The Steve Asmussen trainee is out of the Include mare, Sun Salvation. Alex Joon paid $16.00 to win and after two starts, has a bankroll of $38,173.
In the very next race, Ready and Rich was the best $30,000 claimer in a field of ten and like Alex Joon, was racing seventh at the half. The 3-year-old Super Saver colt came on late in the 6 1/2 furlong dirt test and won by a length in 1:18.31. The victor, bred by the Chance Farm, was one of three horses claimed in the race. He has earned $62,077 in 2019 and overall, has $117,437 from 12 “in-the-money” finishes. He is out of the More Than Ready mare, Ready Reply.
Four other Virginia-breds had maiden breaking victories in the past couple weeks — Taskinas, Oddseverinurfavor, Blacktop Legend and Uncle Andrew.
Eagle Point Farms’ Taskinas won a $26,000 maiden claimer at Laurel December 6th. The 2-year-old Orientate gelding took the lead from Created Special at the top of the stretch then crossed nearly a length in front in 1:12.72. Taskinas kicked off his career with a sixth in this summer’s Jamestown Stakes at Colonial Downs and this was his first win in four tries. The Rob Bailes trainee was ridden by Forest Boyce. The winner is out of Toccoa by Purple Comet.
Larry Johnson bred a trio of winners over the past two weeks including Oddseverinurfavor, a 4-year-old Despite the Odds filly who prevailed at Charles Town December 4th. She won for the first time in six starts for owner/trainer Donna Lockhard in a $17,000 maiden claimer. She is out of Dowhatyouwanttwodo by Two Punch.
Blacktop Legend connected in a $41,000 maiden claiming race at Aqueduct Thanksgiving weekend. The 3-year-old Hard Spun gelding competed six furlongs and finished in 1:11.63, best in the field of nine. The winner, bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, did not compete at age two. In 2019, he has a win, a second and a trio of thirds in seven starts, good for $43,140 in earnings. Out of the Street Cry mare, Street Interest, Blacktop Legend is owned by the Bob Peterson Stables, Frank Bellavia and Gary Gullo, who also trains.
Uncle Andrew collected his first win December 7th at Fairgrounds in a $17,000 maiden claimer for 2-year-olds. The Jack Milton gelding captured the one mile race by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:40.0. Bred by Lazy Lane Farms, the winner is out of the Hansel mare, Bonnie Rose.
Sir Rockport and Toto’s Darling, both bred by Larry Johnson, also scored recent wins. The former was a gate-to-wire victor at Penn National December 6th in a 5 1/2 furlong claiming race. He won for the 9th time in 56 career starts and pushed his bankroll to $249,449. The 7-year-old Rockport Harbor gelding is owned by Five C’s Stable. The latter, a 4-year-old Despite the Odds filly, upset the field in a December 5th $13,000 claimer at Charles Town after being sent off at odds of 23.5-1. Toto’s Darling wired the field and won by a head in the 4 1/2 furlong test, returning $49.00. She is owned by Amanda Plata.
Finally, Gingeresk won by a head over Ellie’s Cork at Charles Town November 29th and earned her fourth career triumph. The 4-year-old Eskendereya filly finished the seven furlongs in 1:29.74. She was bred by Nancy Rizer & Eric Rizer and is owned by the latter. With $57,850 in earnings, Gingeresk is out of Serenity Hill by Speightstown.
Six of the nine winners noted also earned a 25% bonus for their owners courtesy of the Mid-Atlantic incentive program. By winning at a track in either New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia or Delaware, winners Sir Rockport, Toto’s Darling, Taskinas, Oddseverinurfavor, Blacktop Legend and Gingeresk all provided their owners with the extra dollars.