by Jo Talbot
Jo Talbot turned her handicapping eyes to a lifetime claimer at Pimlico yesterday and delivered solid insights. She tossed the a.m. favorite, who finished last after being eased; two of the horses in her super ran one-two (at 5-1 and 7-1). Her top choice, Avie, ran a good second, closing a gap too late to miss by 3/4 lengths at odds of 7-1, while Phyllis Ann, also in her mix, led every step of the way to key an $88 exacta.
The only action in the Mid-Atlantic region today is at Parx Racing, so we’re handicapping Parx 6 for today’s Featured Race, a seven furlong test on the main track for three, four or five year old maidens. With a full field of ten, there are potentially some juicy betting opportunities.
The prohibitive morning line favorite is Two Comma Guy, a three year old colt trained by Michael Trombetta. Comma Guy’s previous two starts came earlier this year, his first a maiden special weight on Keeneland’s synthetic track and his second in a $65,000 maiden claiming race at Belmont Park. In the latter, he earned a 67 Beyer speed figure, bobbling at the start and finishing third. Julian Pimental is the third jockey to climb aboard for the ride. Two Comma Guy could certainly win, but 2-1 is a bit short given the field, and I’ll try to beat him with a long shot.
Trainer Cathal Lynch has a pair of entrants, both lined at 12-1, that might be able to pull an upset victory. The first, Titan Dune, is a three year old colt who was nominated to the Triple Crown races–most likely wishful aspirations on the connections’ part rather than that type of talent. Previously trained by Harold James Bond in New York, Titan Dune has had only one start in a maiden special weight race at Aqueduct where he showed little. Lynch’s stats under these racing conditions are appealing, but they are equally applicable to Street Invader, who is the more enticing of the pair.
Street Invader’s only start was in a maiden special weight over the Parx main track at six furlongs where he was stuck on the rail, finishing fourth with a 41 Beyer. The second place finisher in that race, Golden Punch, earned a 45 Beyer that day, but came back in his next outing to notch a victory in a maiden race with an 80 Beyer. Lynch wins at a 24% clip in maiden second starts, a 31% clip in maiden special weights, and a 31% clip with jockey Edwin Rivera, all with positive ROIs. For these reasons, I’m inclined to take a shot with Street Invader as my top choice.
Buddy’s Moon, a four year old gelding at 9-2, also figures to be in the mix. He’s had four previous attempts, two at six furlongs and two at a mile, and the seven furlong distance may hit him squarely between the eyes. He has the best lifetime Beyer in the field, and although I don’t like him in the top spot, I think he will hit the board in the exotics. Of the remaining horses, Sprickett, a four year old colt at 4-1, and Fort Macon, at 8-1, are both lightly raced and eligible to improve. Of these two selections, I favor Spricket over Fort Macon to round out the superfecta.
Showers are expected at Parx on Tuesday and it may be an off track. I’ve factored the predicted forecast into my selections: Street Invader, Two Comma Guy, Buddy’s Moon and Sprickett.
Post time for the sixth at Parx Racing is 2:40 EST. Good Luck!