BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Darryl Abramowitz’s Tappin Josie, off the board for the first time this year when stepped up to Grade 1 company in her last start, will face three other stakes winners and two solid Florida-breds while seeking a return to form in Saturday’s $100,000 Weather Vane at historic Pimlico Race Course.
The fourth running of the six-furlong Weather Vane for 3-year-old fillies is the fifth of six stakes worth $650,000 in purses on an 11-race program, immediately preceding the $200,000 Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (Grade 3).
Tappin Josie was last seen running sixth in the Grade 1 Test won by Pretty Mischievous at seven furlongs Aug. 5 at Saratoga, her graded-stakes debut. Prior to that, she had run first, second or third in each of her first six starts this year. She was second to Downtown Mischief in the $100,000 Cicada at six furlongs on March 18 at Aqueduct before running against fellow Pennsylvania-breds in her next three starts. After winning an allowance race at Penn National on May 11, she was second to Weather Vane rival Late Frost in the $100,000 New Start at Penn National on June 2 and was beaten a neck when third behind winner Hey Mamaluke in the $100,000 Power by Far, taken off the turf and run over a muddy five furlongs on June 26 at Parx in her Test prep.
“She’s doing really well. She came out of the Test in good order,” trainer Horaco De Paz said. “Obviously [the Test] was an ambitious spot. We were just trying to see if we could get lucky and possibly hit the board just to help her value possibly as a broodmare. She’s a very competitive filly and she tries every time, so hopefully we can get her back into her routine and see her winning races.”
Tappin Josie is by Anchor Down out of Homemaker and she has six wins, four seconds and two thirds in 15 career starts. With earnings of $283,760 she is 8-1 on the morning line.
Jevian Toledo will ride from post two in a field of eight, replacing Kevin Gomez, who has been aboard Tappin Josie for each of her races this year.
The two Florida-breds are Ms. Bucchero, who is 5-1 on the morning line, and Our Liberty Belle at 10-1 in the program.
Mastic Beach Racing’s Ms. Bucchero exits a notable six-and-three-quarter-length romp against upper level, $25,000 optional claimers going six furlongs at Penn National on Aug. 9, which was her fourth victory in six career starts. Her only off the board finish came on July 8 when seventh in the $100,000 Dashing Beauty won by Alva Starr going six furlongs at Delaware Park on July 8, which snapped a three-race win streak.
Ms. Bucchero is by Bucchero, who stands in Florida at Pleasant Acres Farm, and is out of Give Glory to God, by Mutakddim. She was bred by Pamela Edel.
An earner of $93,250, the Diane Morici-trained Ms. Bucchero will be ridden from post four by Jaime Rodriguez.
Trainer Michael Trombetta is looking for Our Liberty Belle to resume her winning ways after she had a three-race win streak halted when third to Mama G’s Wish in a second condition, $30,000 optional claiming over six-and-a-half furlongs at Timonium on Aug. 27.
She started her streak in May with a victory against $45,000 maiden claimers at Pimlico before winning a $40,000 claiming at Laurel Park at five-and-a-half furlongs on June 11 and a first level, $62,500 optional claiming at Laurel going six furlongs on July 2.
A Live Oak Plantation homebred, Our Liberty Belle has three wins and a third in 10 starts with a $94,316 bankroll. She is by American Pharoah out of Live Oak Plantation’s Florida-bred mare Successful Song, by the Florida-bred Successful Appeal.
Joel Rosario has the assignment on Our Liberty Belle, who has drawn post seven.
Favored in the morning line at 2-1 is Runnymore Racing’s Late Frost, a winner of three of five career races including the New Start. In her last race, the Frosted filly took a short lead into the stretch before settling for third in the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks won by Vahva at seven furlongs Aug. 25.
Late Frost is trained by Michael Matz and Jeiron Barbosa will ride from post five.
The other two stakes winners are Blind Spot, who is 9-2 in the program, and 12-1 morning line choice Talk to the Judge.
Blind Spot won the $126,000 Star Shoot at Woodbine in April for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. but was disqualified and placed second. Last year she won the $65,000 Our Dear Peggy on the synthetic course at Gulfstream Park.
Tyler Conner has the mount on Blind Spot from the outside post eight.
Talk to the Judge won the $75,000 Miss Disco against fellow Maryland-breds last out at Laurel Park going seven furlongs on July 29.
Marya Montoya will give the leg up on Talk to the Judge to Victor Carrasco and they have post three.
The remainder of the field includes Apple Picker and jockey Sheldon Russell and Fancy Joke with Angel Cruz in the irons.
— Portions of the article were taken from a Maryland Jockey Club press release