Cash is King and Jim Reichenberg’s Ms Locust Point finished third in the first leg of the Filly and Mare Sprint–Dirt Division in 2018 but moved on to graded stakes thereafter and didn’t reappear in the MATCH Series.
She will return to the series and same division in the $100,000 Primonetta Stakes at Laurel Park April 20 and appears a force given a last-out blowout victory at Parx Racing and a sterling local record for trainer John Servis.
Springwater Farm and Jay Miller’s S W Briar Rose backed up a near sweep of a winter starter allowance series at Laurel with a near miss in the Conniver Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares in her last start in March. The 5-year-old mare has kept moving up the ladder for trainer George Albright and could be very dangerous in the Primonetta and the division’s second leg, the Penn Ladies Dash at her home track–Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
Lady Sheila Stable and Iris Smith Stable’s Startwithsilver ships in from New York for trainer Linda Rice, who has an excellent record at Laurel. Startwithsilver most recently won the Correction Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack and finished second in the first leg of this division last spring.
Cash is King and Jim Reichenberg’s Ms Locust Point ran her Laurel record to five-for-seven with a gritty front-running victory by a nose Heider Family Stable, Madaket Stables and Michael Kisber’s Cairenn, who closed from eighth in the first quarter-mile of the six-furlong event.
Lady Sheila Stable and Iris Smith Stable’s Startwithsilver rallied from last in the field of nine to finish third. The time for the distance was 1:10.11.
Based at Parx Racing and trained by John Servis, who was at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races to saddle Diamond King to a second-place finish in the $1 million Charles Town Classic, Ms Locust Point, a 5-year-old Dialed In mare, passed the $600,000 mark in earnings and is three-for-four so far this year.
“I thought there would be some pressure in the race because she was the filly to beat,” said Jorge Vargas Jr., who captured his second of two MATCH Series events on the afternoon. “I didn’t want to take her out of her game, and she just kept going. I was pretty confident.”
Reichenberg, who called Ms Locust Point “the queen of Laurel,” said he enjoys participating in Maryland racing because of all the progress that has been made in recent years.
“(Programs) like this create opportunities for owners like us, and we need those opportunities,” he said. “The MATCH Series is perfect for horses that are a little better than the claiming level, and you can tell by the horses that have shipped in for these races.
“I’m just glad to have this mare; it has been a dream the whole time. We also have a great trainer in John Servis. I just wish she was a Maryland-bred.”
Ms Locust Point now has 10 MATCH Series points. Cairenn (7) and Startwithsilver (5) round out the top three.