YESTERDAY’S NEWS: OH, NO, HONEYDUKES
The good news for Honeydukes is that her streak of four consecutive runner-up finishes came to an end yesterday in a maiden special weight race at Penn National.
The bad news is that it didn’t end the way her connections wanted, with a maiden-breaking win. Instead, she was passed late for second and ended up third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Bowtie Diva. My Little Annie ended up second.
Bowtie Diva, under Julio Hernandez, quickly took a short lead, gradually extended it through a half-mile in a moderate 49.50 seconds and three-quarters in 1:14.55, opened a three-length lead by the eighth pole, and had plenty in reserve to score by 1 1/4 lengths.
The Pennsylvania-bred, three-year-old Fernando Ferreira trainee now has a win and two thirds from five starts with career earnings of $26,288.
Meanwhile, Honeydukes remains winless in seven starts. The Rodrigo Madrigal trainee has finished second or third in six of those starts.
- Here’s a racing oddity: the eight races at Charles Town were won by eight different jockeys — and eight different trainers.
- The 100th start of No Brakes’s career brought him his 16th lifetime show effort. The 11-year-old Maryland-bred Parker’s Storm Cat gelding has a career ledger of 100-20-23-16 with earnings of $383,518. Last night at Charles Town, he made a late run into third while never threatening the winner, Malibu Bluff.
- There were some big payoffs to be had in the region last night: three horses at Penn National paid at least $20 to win, topped by Bowtie Diva’s $26.40 win payout. And at Charles Town, three horses paid at least $39.20, with Ellymaerun paying $85.80 to win the first race. When coupled in the early double with Bright Bullet ($56.60 to win), she triggered a $1216 double payout.
LOOKING AHEAD: TODAY’S RACING
- A field of 11 is slated to go postward in Laurel Park’s featured one-mile, $45,000 allowance test for older runners. Top of Mind, who’s been the favorite in four of five starts to date for trainer Rodney Jenkins, is the lukewarm 7-2 favorite here; he’s been gelded since his last start, back in August. A.P. Cino (6-1) sports one of the oddest past performance novelties you’re likely to see: the 11-time winner of more than $328,000 is winless in 13 tries at Laurel Park. Also in the field is Demon Buster (5-1), whose last — a fifth in the Dave’s Friend back in December — was better than it looks.
- A pair of allowance/optional claimers anchor Friday night’s card at Charles Town, one open and one for fillies and mares and both with the optional $12,500 claiming tag. Interestingly, seven of the eight runners in the open version are in for the claiming tag, as are six of seven in the distaff heat. Kieron Magee trainee Manando, second in four straight, is the 9-5 favorite in the former; Clifford Tuomisto trainee We’llseeaboutthat, winner of four straight since coming to Charles Town, is 8-5 in the latter.
- Four of the six runners in Penn National’s featured second-level, $30,400 allowance heat are lined between 8-5 and 7-2, with Guayana the 8-5 chalk. An intriguing challenger, though, is Pennsylvania-bred Gwendolyn (7-2), trained by Rodrigo Madrigal and scheduled to be ridden by Andrew Wolfsont. The four-year-old Lionhearted filly has been in the money in eight of nine career starts and most recently was a near-miss second against similar.