Vim won an allowance at Laurel Park on March 20. Photo by The Racing Biz.
From Staff Reports
YESTERDAY’S NEWS: TRIPLES ALL AROUND
More nights like last night will work just fine for jockey Jose Montano and trainer Ollie Figgins, III.
The pair combined to have a dominant evening at Charles Town last night, winning three of the card’s eight races — and the richest three at that.
They struck first in race three, when Montano guided Prince of Windsor to a 1 1/2 length win in a $24,500 allowance test for horses that had never won three times. Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, Prince of Windsor, who is a Figgins homebred, rallied from the back of the four-horse field to win.
They were at it again in the very next race, when Tribal Heat led all the way, holding off the challenge of New London to win by a neck in a $24,000 allowance for horses that had never won twice. West Virginia-bred Tribal Heat was the 2.80-1 second choice in the field of eight.
Finally, they did it one more time in the seventh race, another $24,000 never-won-two allowance. This time it was Pepper Bay, who came from mid-pack to win the 6 1/2 furlong contest by 1 1/4 lengths as the 2.70-1 second choice.
Montano, the 2012 Eclipse Award winner as outstanding apprentice, is dominating the Charles Town jockey colony. His 43 wins far outstrip the 28 of Arnaldo Bocachica in second, and he leads that rider by nearly $140,000 in total earnings. Figgins is in third place by both wins and earnings among trainers, with 16 wins from 53 starters at the track.
- Dan’s Girl impressed in winning a first level allowance at Penn National last night. The four-year-old Munnings filly, sent off the 9-5 favorite, made the lead early in the six furlong test and took it home from there. Ahead by three lengths after a half-mile in 45.46 seconds, she got the last quarter in a shade over 24 seconds while widening to a nine-length win under jockey Dana Whitney. Running time for the six furlongs was a sharp 1:09.73 for the Harold Wyner trainee. She’s now won four of 14 career starts and earned more than $77,000.
LOOKING AHEAD: TODAY’S RACING
- Laurel Park cards the season’s first two turf races today — if the weather holds. In race seven, a $7,500 starter allowance going one mile, trainer Jamie Ness has shipped Battle Axe up from Tampa, and she is the 2-1 morning line favorite. In the ninth, a $16,000 maiden claimer going 5 1/2 furlongs on the green, Piney Blues, trained by Ben Perkins, Jr., gets the nod as 3-1 morning line choice.
- Something odd: the top two horses in the morning line in the first race at Laurel Park — Stolen Secrets (5-2) and Convey (3-1) — both enter the maiden special weight event off considerable layoffs. The former, trained by Larry Curtis, was third on debut at Gulfstream Park — but that was in March 2015. The latter, a Rodney Jenkins trainee, ran fifth in his debut, in September 2014.
- Trainer Tim Kreiser sends out Thehawkwilneverdie (4-1) in the second race this evening at Penn National. The maiden special weight contest has drawn a field of seven with Painted Patchen the 5-2 morning line choice. Kreiser and jockey Angel Rodriguez, who will ride Thehawkwilneverdie, have been scoring at a 35 percent clip the last two months, including winning five of their last eight together. Florida-bred Thehawkwilneverdie, making his debut, is a Pomeroy colt out of a Pleasant Tap mare and owns a solid work tab.
- A pair of Jeff Runco trainees who won at first asking make their second starts this evening. Homebred Fire Control scored by 1 1/4 lengths going 4 1/2 furlongs back in early January, and Runco hopes the Friesan Fire gelding will handle the stretch out to seven furlongs this evening in race six. Hot Corner, running in race three, made his debut almost exactly a month after Fire Control, with similarly promising results. The Macho Uno gelding is competing in another 4 1/2 furlong allowance.