Match Series Heads To Round Two

The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Champion­ships Series (MATCH) continues Sunday, June 13, at Pimlico Race Course with the $100,000 Shine Again Stakes, the second of six stakes in the Filly and Mare Sprint—Dirt division for 2021.

The Shine Again, originally scheduled to be run at Laurel Park at seven furlongs, will be a six-furlong event. The Maryland Jockey Club Racing Office received 19 nominations, including several horses that competed in the May 15 Skipat Stakes, the first race of the division.

Pennsylvania-bred Chub Wagon, winner of the Skipat, ran her career record to six wins in six starts. The 4-year-old filly based at Parx Racing was entered in her first graded stakes, in New York June 5, but her connections indicated she would scratch and race in the Shine Again.

Several locally-based runners are nominated to the Shine Again.

Five Hellions Farm’s Dontletsweetfoolya, trained by Lacey Gaudet, finished fourth in the Skipat after leading for almost five furlongs. The 4-year-old filly has won five of 10 starts, including two stakes, and has a win on the Pimlico dirt.

No Guts No Glory Farm’s Anna’s Bandit, with 17 wins and almost $800,000 in earnings, hasn’t raced since June 2020 but has been working regularly at Pimlico and Delaware Park, where trainer John Robb has a small string given the relocation of horses from Laurel. The 7-year-old mare has been one of the top female sprinters in the Mid-Atlantic region for years.

Hibiscus Punch, owned by Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson, won the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie Stakes at Laurel in February and most recently competed in a Grade 1 stakes at Churchill Downs. The 6-year-old mare is based in Maryland with trainer Justin Nixon.

Hello Beautiful, a seven-time winner owned by Madaket Stables, Frassetto, Parkinson, K-Mac Stables and Magic City Stables, finished fifth in the Barbara Fritchie and hasn’t raced since. The 4-year-old filly, a winner of five stakes, has been training at Pimlico with Brittany Russell.

Entries for the Shine Again and other stakes on the June 13 program will be drawn Thursday, June 10.

The next MATCH Series stakes—the $100,000 Lite the Fuse and $100,000 Caesar’s Wish—are slated for Sunday, July 4. They are scheduled for Laurel, but that could change pending the status of the ongoing project to rebuild the dirt track.

The 2021 MATCH Series features 24 stakes valued at $2.75 million. Owners and trainers will compete for $282,000 in divisional bonuses and the overall MATCH Series champion will net $30,000 in bonuses for its owner and trainer. The Maryland Horse Breeders Association will pay a $3,000 bonus to the breeder of the top points-earning Maryland-bred and $3,000 for the top points-earning Maryland-sired horse. If the top points-earner is both Maryland-bred and -sired, the breeder would get $6,000.

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