Two regional tracks are hosting stakes races this afternoon. Laurel’s running four of ’em, while Parx hosts the Pennsylvania Nursery. Here’s what’s on tap:
At Parx Racing, nine Pennsylvania-bred juveniles are set to square off in the $100,000 Pennylvania Nursery Stakes, which will run as the eighth race (post time: 3:34).
It’s a contentious group with a lukewarm 5-2 favorite in Nasa. The John Servis trainee — a colt by Smarty Jones — enters off a decent third-place finish in the Christopher Elser Memorial Stakes over the strip and figures to appreciate the seven-furlong trip. That’s the distance at which he scored his only career win, a nine-length romp in September at Laurel.
But he may have his hand full with Flagndini (7-2), a son of Bandini making his first start since romping to victory back in early September. One of his victims that day: Nasa, who ran second. Flagndini is making his first start since being gelded and will have to prove he can stretch out successfully after winning a five-furlong dash.
Awesome Alex (9-2) is another likely to get some love from the betting public off a third-place finish against maidens at Aqueduct. But that runner has yet to break his maiden after four tries.
A handful of longer shots are also worth a gander. Tazewell County (15-1) closed stoutly in his debut at Penn National to be second. He shows a good work in the meantime and owns the right to improve here. Scip of Vindy (8-1) had to drop down to the claiming ranks to break his maiden but followed that up with a good second against allowance foes going two turns over the strip. He and Nasa are the lone runners to have had success at or beyond seven furlongs. And Ugottahaveheart (8-1) ran well enough to be second in his debut at Parx, and, as a son of Giant’s Causeway, shouldn’t mind the added ground.
At Laurel Park, four stakes are in the offing:
- The Gin Talking for juvenile fillies going seven furlongs (race 4, 1:59)
- The Marylander for two-year-olds, also seven furlongs (race 6, 2:57).
- The Willa on the Move for older distaff sprinters at six furlongs (race 7, 3:26); and
- The Jennings, for three-year-olds and up Maryland-breds going 1 1/8 miles (race 8, 3:55)
For handicapping data and info: