PHOTO BY SCOTT EISEN
Horses bolt out of the gate during one of Sunday’s races at Suffolk Downs.
EAST BOSTON — The Massachusetts breeding industry was the highlight of Sunday’s 10-race card at Suffolk Downs with a pair of $50,000 stakes races restricted to horses bred in-state.
The races concluded the final day of the first of three food truck and live racing festival weekends scheduled this summer.
Dr. Blarney, a homebred for local owner and breeder Joseph DiRico, romped by nine-lengths as the heavy favorite in the 6-furlong $50,000 Rise Jim Stakes to earn the ninth win and fifth stakes victory of his career. Trained by Karl Grusmark, the four-year-old son of Dublin was ridden by Tammi Piermarini who went on to win a total of three races on the day.
“It always feels so nice to win at home,” said Piermarini. “The minute you get into Massachusetts, nothing beats the feeling of being at home.”
Piermarini also won the second race with Smokin Red Hot ($8) for trainer William Downing and teamed up with Antonio Arriaga to win the seventh race with Banner Bill ($8).
In the ninth race, the $50,000 Isadorable Stakes for fillies and mares, Jonathan Buckley saddled Princess Dream to an 11½-length romp in the 6-furlong contest under jockey Joel Sone. The 4-year-old daughter of Freud carried the colors of owner and breeder Patricia Moseley who won the stakes in 2013, 2015 and 2016 with local champion mare Navy Nurse.
“It is just wonderful to win this race,” said Moseley. “We did not even know if we would get a chance to be here. This horse is special to us – she was kind of like our pet. We brought her up ourselves on the farm and you just never know how they will turn out.”
Also on the card, apprentice rider Jenn Miller notched two victories and lit up the toteboard with Redeem Me ($88.60) in the fourth race. She closed out the card with a 2-length score aboard Likeagirl ($4.40). Miller began her career as a jockey this past fall after previously competing successfully as a Grand Prix dressage rider.
Saturday, a crowd of 10,219 was on hand as D’Boldest went gate-to-wire to win the $75,000 Jill Jellison Memorial Dash.
“It is gratifying to get such a great turnout from local fans and such solid support from horsemen shipping in for the weekend,” said Chip Tuttle, the Chief Operating Officer at Suffolk Downs. “We’re appreciative of the dedicated staff here who put in a ton of work over the last few weeks to make these days happen. Congratulations to Antonia Noonan and the connections of D’Boldest.”
Trained by Jose Camejo and owned by Antonia Noonan, the 7-year-old daughter of D’Wildcat broke sharply and secured the early lead. From there, she made every call a winning one under jockey Abel Lezcano and drew off to win by 4¼ lengths to earn the 10th victory of her career.
“I have won stakes races all across the country,” said Lezcano. “But, I have never won one at Suffolk Downs and it was great to win this one. She ran a fantastic race. Even though my saddle slipped, she went right to the front and just kept going.”
Also on the card, the entry of Saint Alfred and Frosty Nurse finished one-two for prominent longtime local owner and breeder Joseph DiRico in the $50,000 African Prince Stakes. Saint Alfred, ridden by Piermarini, prevailed by three-quarters-length over his entry mate to earn the second stakes victory of his career.
The live racing and food truck festival will continue Aug. 5-6 and Sept. 2-3.