Mid-Atlantic breds made their presence known during Saturday’s Belmont Stakes festival at Belmont Park. And one of them earned a major victory.
Voting for the newest Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Mid-Atlantic bred Poll was conducted last week, prior to Belmont day, though it’s sure to be shuffled by the day’s results.
Caravel, rated number two among older horses by the poll’s participants, will almost surely take the top spot in the next poll after her strong victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 Jaipur. Racing against males, Caravel, with Tyler Gaffalione in the irons, won by nearly a length while getting six furlongs on firm turf in a sharp 1:07.93.
The Pennsylvania-bred Caravel is three-for-three this year and has won five straight overall. That streak includes an upset win in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, which led to her being named Top Midlantic-bred of 2022.
Caravel was one of two among the five top older horses to run on the Belmont undercard. Also racing was the Virginia-bred Repo Rocks, who was the leader among older horses in the latest poll. He, however, could do no better than seventh in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap after finding some traffic early in the race.
Among three-year-olds, the only weekend runner was the Pennsylvania-bred Angel of Empire. Third in the Kentucky Derby, in Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes he finished in a dead heat for fourth, a couple of lengths behind winner Arcangelo.
While the older horse results will likely move Caravel to the top of the class, Angel of Empire’s solid Belmont outing probably will solidify his position at the head of the class.
TOP OLDER MID-ATLANTIC BREDS
Voting conducted through June 9
1. Repo Rocks (VA), 5G by Tapiture-Hawaiian Love, by Not for Love; bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin III and trained by Jamie Ness for Double B Racing Stables. 2023 highlights: Won G3 Westchester, G3 Toboggan, Stymie S., 2nd G1 Carter H. Last: T1
2. Caravel (PA), 6M by Mizzen Mast-Zeezee Zoomzoom, by Congrats; bred by Elizabeth Merryman and trained by Brad Cox for Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel and Madaket Stables LLC. 2023 highlights: Won G1 Jaipur, G2 Shakertown. Last: T1
3. Nimitz Class (PA), 4C by Munnings-Five Diamonds, by Flatter; bred by Arrowwood Farm and trained by Bruce Kravets for Tom Coulter. 2023 highlights: Won John B. Campbell S., Harrison Johnson Memorial S. Last: 5th
4. Twisted Ride (PA), 4G by Great Notion-Diva’s Gold, by Tenpins; bred by Kasey K Racing Stable and trained by Michael Moore for Kasey K Racing Stable LLC, Michael R. Day, and Final Turn Racing Stable LLC. 2023 highlights: Won Fishtown S., Page McKenney S., 2nd G3 Runhappy S. Last: NA
5. Swayin to and Fro (SC), 4F by Straight Talking-Jungle Lady, by Warrior’s Reward; bred by Franklin G. Smith Sr. and trained by Mario Serey, Jr. for Baxter Racing Stable. 2023 highlights: Won G3 Barbara Fritchie S. Last: 3rd
Also receiving votes: Award Wanted, Eastern Bay
TOP MID-ALANTIC BRED THREE-YEAR-OLDS
Voting conducted through June 9
1. Angel of Empire (PA), 3C by Classic Empire-Armony’s Angel, by To Honor and Serve; bred by Forgotten Land Investment Inc & Black Diamond Equine Corp and trained by Brad Cox for Albaugh Family Stables LLC. 2023 highlights: Won G1 Arkansas Derby, G2 Risen Star S., 3rd G1 Kentucky Derby. Last: 1st
2. Tappin Josie (PA), 3F by Anchor Down-Homemaker, by Afternoon Deelites; bred by Charles Blanford and trained by Horacio De Paz for Darryl Abramowitz. 2023 highlights: Won Society Hill S. Last: 3rd
T3. Coffeewithchris (MD), 3G by Ride On Curlin-Andiemac, by Outflanker; bred by Thomas J. Rooney and trained by John Salzman, Jr. for John Salzman, Jr., Fred Wasserloos, and Anthony Geruso. 2023 highlights: Won Miracle Wood S. Last: 2nd
T3. Girl Trouble (NJ), 3F by Fast Anna-Adorabella, by Ghostzapper; bred by Gregory J. Kilka & Bright View Farm and trained by Robert Reid, Jr. for Swilcan Stable LLC and LC Racing. 2023 highlights: Won Parx Futurity. Last: Receiving votes
5. Social Success (PA), 3F by Social Inclusion-Schuylkilla, by With Distinction; bred by Shirley Lojeski and trained by Bruce Kravets for Shirley Lojeski. 2023 highlights: Won Main Line S. Last: Receiving votes
Also receiving votes: Ninetyprcentmaddie, Chase the Chaos, Great Spirit, Little Roo Roo
Notes: With Maryland racing back at Laurel Park, there’ll be a busy summer as the track hosts stakes approximately every other weekend in July and August… Delaware’s biggest races take place in July, with Obeah winner Award Wanted possible for the Delaware Handicap… Older horse #3 Nimitz Class won an allowance at Parx Racing over Preakness weekend, while older horse #4 Twisted Ride ran second in the G3 Runhappy the prior weekend… Three-year-old #2 Tappin Josie was second in the New Start Stakes at Penn National 6/2…
The monthly Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred is the only publication devoted to Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Racing Biz, an online publication, is the independent voice for mid-Atlantic racing and breeding.
The poll is conducted of media members and others involved in the Thoroughbred industry and restricted to horses that have run in 2023 and were bred in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Carolinas.
Participating Voters: Ted Black (freelance writer), Michael Campbell (Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey), Joe Clancy (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Cindy Deubler (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Linda Dougherty (freelance), Debbie Easter (Virginia Thoroughbred Association), Paul Espinosa (Charles Town Races), Cricket Goodall (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Jim Hague (freelance), Nick Hahn (freelance), Carol Holden (West Virginia Breeders Classics), Tom LaMarra (Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Jeff Nations (freelance), Vinnie Perrone (freelance), Frank Petramalo (Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association), John Piassek (freelance), Gary Quill (The Racing Biz), David Richardson (Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Brian Sanfratello (Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association), Chris Sobocinski (Delaware Park), Dan Tordjman (freelance), Frank Vespe (The Racing Biz), Bill Watson (freelance), Lydia Williams (freelance), Bobby Zen (freelance).