Jockey Victor Carrasco Celebrates Birthday in Style

Jockey Victor Carrasco Celebrates Birthday in Style

Eclipse Award Winner Registers Three-Win Day Friday
$75,000 Star de Naskra Tops Nine-Race Saturday Card

LAUREL, MD – Eclipse Award winner Victor Carrasco celebrated his 32nd birthday in style by registering a riding hat trick as the 36-day summer meet resumed Friday at Laurel Park.

Carrasco’s first win came in the Race 3 co-feature, a third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up, aboard Determined Stables and Kingdom Bloodstock, Inc.’s Determined Kingdom ($10.80). A four-time stakes winner sprinting on the grass making his first start since finishing sixth in last September’s Turf Monster (G3) at Parx, the 5-year-old Phil Schoenthal trainee covered 5 ½ furlongs in 1:01.15 over a firm Dahlia turf course.

In Race 6, Carrasco guided Bryan Minnich’s King’s River ($16.20) to the wire first for trainer Linda Albert in the entry-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds, going six furlongs in 1:11.61 over a fast main track. It was the third win in the last five races for the gelded son of multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Irish War Cry, all with Carrasco up.

Jordan Wycoff’s 5-year-old Summer Anthem ($9.20) collared pacesetting Brady Bear in mid-stretch and pulled clear to a 1 ¼-length victory in Race 7, a one-mile claiming event for 3-year-olds and up which had never won three races or 3-year-olds. The winning time was 1:35.33 on the Dahlia.

Summer Anthem was the second winner on the day for trainer Keri Brion, following Fun Lovin Criminal ($12.60) in Race 4.

“She supports me a lot, even when we are not on a good winning streak or anything like that. She’s always been a big supporter,” Carrasco said of Brion. “I’m happy for her, and I’m happy for me having such a good day on my birthday. It’s great.”

A native of Puerto Rico, Carrasco won the Eclipse Award as champion apprentice jockey in 2013 and owns four individual meet titles in Maryland, three of them coming at Laurel, the most recent during its 2017 spring stand. Represented by agent Simon Purdy, he sits third in the summer meet standings with nine wins from 59 mounts, trailing Jaime Rodriguez (15) and Jorge Ruiz (10).

“As always I have say thanks to all the owners and trainers and employees on the backside that make it possible,” Carrasco said. “And last but not least, Simon Purdy, who doesn’t stop believing in me. We’ve got keep trying and taking advantage of these good opportunities.”

Notes: Multiple stakes winner Alwaysinahurry ($9.40), racing for just the second time in a year, overcame being squeezed back at the start with a stout five-wide rally in the stretch to win Race 8 Friday, a stakes-quality third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up, in 1:10.97 for six furlongs … The Elkstone Group’s Oncourtcommentator ($11), a 3-year-old first-time starter by Uncle Mo, surged late to capture the Race 9 finale, a maiden special weight for fillies and mares ages 3, 4 and 5. The winning time was 1:43.39 for 1 1/16 miles on the All Along turf course … There will be carryovers of $2,094.67 in the $1 Jackpot Super High Five (Race 6) and $1,540.98 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 4-9) wagers Saturday. The Rainbow 6 sequence includes the $75,000 Star de Naskra for Maryland-bred/sired 3-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs in Race 8.