Today’s card at Parx Racing features the track’s final two stakes of the 2014 season: the $75,000 Valley Forge Stakes for three-year-olds and up going seven furlongs and the $75,000 Auld Lang Syne for three-year-olds and up going 1 mile 70 yards.
Herewith, a couple horses to keep an eye on:
- Easter Gift/Auld Lang Syne S./5-2 morning line — Trainer Chad Brown can’t possibly continue to win at this rate at Parx. Can he? The New York-based conditioner has won with 18 of 25 starters at Parx this year — a remarkable 72 percent strike rate. The next best, among trainers with at least 10 starters at the Bensalem track, is Allen Iwinski’s five-for-13 ledger (38 percent)… Son of Hard Spun, Grade 1 placed in 2013, has made just four starts this year with a single win… Most recently was a well beaten fifth in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs but won his start prior to that against allowance foes… 5-2 is offering no great bargain on a horse whose 2013 season was markedly better than this year, but he’s facing a moderate group and perhaps the toughest other contender, Ever Rider, seems to want more distance… We won’t wager on him but are curious as to whether he can recapture his better form.
- Cu Chulainn/Valley Forge S./6-1 morning line — Named for an Irish mythological hero, the sophomore son of Pioneerof the Nile has won two straight and three of his five career starts, all at Parx. Most recently, he defeated second-level allowance horses by almost three lengths while earning a gaudy BRIS speed figure of 102… Will make his first stakes start for trainer Dee Curry… Need-the-lead sort breaks from the outside and might well be quickest of all… A good test for a talented horse, and the right time to take it.