From a Parx Racing release.
Parx Racing kicked off its major September schedule Monday afternoon with four major stakes including three graded stakes, honoring 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones with Smarty Jones Day. After the early rain showers had cleared the local racing fans were treated to a terrific afternoon of action with race after race decided in the final strides.
In what proved to be a gutty wire to wire performance, the $350,000 Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes went to The Elkstone Group’s Edge of Reality. Having shown front running speed in his prior starts and with the only horse inside of him in the starting gate with little early speed, winning jockey Stewart Elliott was able to get his mount, a son of Lawyer Ron, to the front by the time the field hit the first turn. It would be a lead he never relinquished. Guiding Edge of Reality through comfortable, unchallenged fractions of 23.80 and 47.81, Elliott went to the far turn leading it by just over a length. Sitting a couple lengths back and getting a great trip on the inside was Speak Logistics and as the outside horses began to give way, Speak Logistics, with about a quarter mile to go, had a clean shot to run at Edge of Reality. The two fought it out through the stretch, Edge of Reality digging in gamely and Speak Logistics slowly gaining on the outside. As they approached the wire, Edge of Reality simply proved too tough and held on to win by a hard fought neck and fittingly giving Stu Elliott, the man who rode Smarty Jones, a victory in the Smarty Jones Stakes. Trained by local Tony Dutrow, Edge of Reality was part of a 5-2 favored entry and paid $7.80 to win and finished the mile and seventy yards on the sloppy track in 1:42.20.
Beechwood Racing Stable’s Stormofthecentury turned in the performance of his life and upset a stellar field to win the $350,000 Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap, the track’s premier turf sprint. Making just the third turf start of his 15 race career, the 5 year-old gelded son of Kestral broke alertly in the eleven horse field and raced fourth early on, sitting just off the lead pack on the inside of a course labeled yielding as a result of morning rain. The brilliantly fast Tightend Touchdown led the way to the far turn while Stormofthecentury, under jockey Stewart Elliott, slipped through on the inside and saved every bit of ground around the far turn. Coming off the turn, Tightend Touchdown looked like the winner, opening up almost a three length lead with only a furlong to run. But the late runners starting closing in. Ben’s Cat, the Turf Monster winner in 2011 and 2012 was making his patented late rally in the middle of the course, while Stormofthecentury eased off the rail at the head of the stretch and closed with fierce determination. Stormofthecentury forged past Tightend Touchdown just before the wire and won by a clear cut half length, with Ben’s Cat missing the place photo by a nose. Trained by Lou Ruberto, Jr. Stormofthecentury was sent off at 28-1 and paid $59.40 to win. The final time was :57.44.
The $200,000 Grade 3 Greenwood Cup run at a mile and a half on the main track turned into an absolute thriller. After two and a half minutes and a mile and a half on the track, only a nose separated Eldaafer and Indian Jones at the wire with Jim Atwell & Kevin Jacobson’s Eldaafer prevailing in a stirring stretch battle. An 8 year-old gelded son of A.P. Indy, Eldaafer, a former winner of the Breeders Cup marathon was taken back off the pace by winning jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. sitting fifth early in the field of seven while Indian Jones, also a late runner was last through the first mile of the race. The outcome may have been decided in what played out as the two raced to the far turn. Eldaafer had a chance to take an inside path, while Indian Jones was forced four wide. With a quarter mile to go, those two had rallied past their other rivals and were now head and head for the lead. They battled the entire length of the stretch and as they came to the finish, Eldaafer pushed his nose in front to the roar of the appreciative crowd. Trainer by Diane Alvarado, Eldaafer was a slight betting favorite at 5-2 and paid $7.00 to win. The final time over the sloppy track was 2:33.73.
The $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap, a five furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares went to Paul Pompa, Jr.s Silverette. The 4 year-old Street Sense filly used her early speed to get away well from the outside gate in the nine horse field, sitting fourth on the outside through the opening furlong. Chasing front running Subtle to the far turn, Silverette made a quick move to engage the leader with three furlongs to go. Those two pulled away from the others and raced as a team down to the eighth pole. At that point, Silverette was the stronger filly and she slowly began to edge away, finally hitting the wire just over a length in front. Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Robby Albarado, she went post ward as the 3-2 favorite and paid $5.00 to win. The final time, again over the yielding course, was :57.73.