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No stakes scheduled for the mid-Atlantic this weekend, but we still ahve questions:

  • Will anyone race this weekend? Parx Racing and Penn National are both canceled for Saturday, and ragged weather is predicted to hit the entire region.
  • Will anyone hit the Jackpot Pick 5 at Laurel Park?  The bet, which requires a single winning ticket to pay out, has remained uncashed for a while now, and the Maryland Jockey Club has sweetened the pot by guaranteeing a minimum $100,000 payout to one unique winner.  With a 50-cent unit, there’s money to be had — if you’re good and lucky.  Look for a play from Gabby Gaudet tomorrow on The Racing Biz!
  • In Laurel’s featured seventh race, a second allowance/optional claiming event, will New York-shipper D’princess, the 9-5 favorite, get the money or can the locals keep it at home?  Rudy Rodriguez ships down the seven-time winner, who’s earned nearly $250,000.  But she’s facing an interesting crew, including Jerry Robb trainee Gaurd the Empire (6-1), who’s won two of five career starts and looks to be moving in the right direction.
  • In Charles Town’s eighth, a starter/optional claiming event, can 8-1 Dr. Funkenstein win for the eighth time this year?  Only five horses nationally have won more races in 2013.  The seven year-old entered the year with just two wins but has won seven times this year, along with eight other in-the-money finishes, in an extraordinarily busy 19-race campaign for trainer Stephanie Beattie.
  • Will Parx Racing get cheers or shrugs for its first race on Sunday (if it races at all)?  It’s about the rarest kind of race: a cheap claimer going a classic route distance.  The race, a $7500 claimer for three and up that have never won two races, will be contested at 1 1/4 miles on the dirt.  Three year-old Torpedo Cat — a son of Heatseeker — is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the unusual event.  Notably, the race has drawn a healthy eight entrants; only two of the nine races on the card have bigger fields.

Good luck this weekend!

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