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The MATCH series for 2022 is up and running with Disco Pharoah taking out the Whiteley, the first leg of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship at Laurel Park.

In fact, it was a 3¼ length victory for Disco Pharoah in the Frank Y Whiteley Stakes of 7f, the first of the 3YO and Up Sprint Dirt division of this MATCH Series winning in 1-23.64 on a fast track.

With jockey Jevian Toledo riding his own race from Gate 7, he employed the same forward tactics as seen in Disco Pharoah’s previous Aqueduct victory, discovering he had a ‘lot of horse.’

Racing three wide along the backstretch, Jevian Toledo made his move around the home turn, and on leading into the home stretch, simply ‘ran away’ as the $5.60 pick in a seven horse field.

Trained by Raymond Handal at Belmont Park, Disco Pharoah was supplemented for the Whiteley, having previously won this Maiden Special Weight over 6½f by 19½ lengths on 3 March.

Unraced until a late 3yo and bred Ralph Kinder and Erv Woolsey in Kentucky, he’s by Triple Crown hero American Pharoah, now the third stakes winner of winning Mineshaft mare Somalia.

A $255,000 graduate of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2YO In Training Sale, Disco Pharoah was twice sold at Keeneland in being a $300,00 Breeding Stock foal and then $200,000 September yearling.

Now leading on 10 points, with placegetters Mohaafeth on 7 and Threes Over Deuces 5, its the 6 furlongs Chocolatetown Stakes that’s open for Disco Pharoah on 17 June at Penn National.

Returning to Laurel Park on 16 July the listed De Francis Dash is 6f, 16 August is Colonial Downs with the Chesapeake Stakes 6f and Parx Racing with the Liberty Bell Stakes 6½f on 3 October.

The French bred Chez Pierre at 4/5on, made if five-from-five on turf in taking out the Harry S Clarke Stakes of 1m for 3YO & Up Long Turf division, ridden by Daniel Centeno for Arnaud Delacour.

With the MATCH Series moving to Penn National, next is the Bensalem Stakes of 1 1/16m, the Prince George’s Stakes 1 1/8m again at Laurel Park, and Buckland Stakes 1 1/16m at Colonial Downs.

The Dahlia Stakes of 1m for the F&M 3YO & Up Long Turf went to the Edward Graham trained 5yo Deciding Vote who scored a half-length victory over In A Hurry, ridden by Angel Suarez at 5/1.

Next at Penn National, the F&M Long Turf features the Neshaminy Stakes of 1 1/16 m, the Big Dreyfus 1 1/8m at Laurel Park and then onto the Old Nelson Stakes of 1 1/16m at Colonial Downs.

The seven horse field of the Primonetta Stakes of 6f on dirt provided an exciting four horse finish with Kaylasaurus, Horacio Karamanos, swooping late to record her 8th win for trainer Tim Kreiser.

Also at Penn National the F&M 3YO & Up Sprint Dirt features the Susquehanna Valley Stakes 6f, Laurel Park again for the Alma North Stakes 6f and Colonial Downs for the Seeking The Pearl.

This MATCH Series for 2022 offers $2.2m in prizemoney and over $400,000 in bonuses with distribution being up to $92,500 per division and $30,000 for the overall champion by points.

In each division first place owner receives $30,000 the trainer $15,000, plus the second and third respectively, and the Series Champion owner an additional $20,000 and the trainer $10,000.

First staged in 1997 the MATCH Series ran for five years, and was great success on returning in 2018 and was held in 2019 and 2021, being now considered an innovative regional racing series.

Being the only one of its kind in horse racing it combines high prizemoney and bonuses for owners and trainers over a five-to-seven month, with points earned on the finish in each series race.

This year the MATCH Series comprise the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Pennsylvania THA, Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

In addition, its Parx Racing, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, 1/ST Racing, Maryland THA, Laurel Park, Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Colonial Downs, Virginia HBPA and Virginia Thoroughbred Association.

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.

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