A tough combination of factors — bad weather and a positive test for equine herpesvirus — has played havoc with Saturday’s card at Parx Racing.
Add the horses scratching for surface issues to those unable to ship because of the contagious disease, and then add both of them to the normal handful out for various reasons. Put ’em all together, and you get 31 scratches from the nine-race card, turning some pretty interesting races into, well, not much at all.
But no race has taken a bigger hit than the day’s featured $150,000 Roamin Rachel Stakes.
That event, once a modestly sized but surprisingly deep field of seven, has now become a match race.
Morning line favorite Room for Me? Scratched, stuck at her Aqueduct base.
Second choice Stonetastic? Also scratched, stuck at Monmouth Park.
Third choice Galiana? Ditto. She’ll be remaining at Delaware Park this afternoon.
What about Lady Sabelia, the fourth choice? Yup, she’ll be staying at Laurel today.
For good measure, the longest shot in the morning lot, Tea Time, is also out. She’s based at Fair Hill.
When the dust had settled, all that remains in the race are a pair of horses, neither of whom has won a stake: Monaguska (12-1) for trainer Kathleen DeMasi, and Hey Kiddo (8-1), for trainer Ramon Preciado.
Which means that we know two things, at any rate: that neither runner will go off anywhere near their morning line odds. And that one of them will be a stakes winner come this evening.