YESTERDAY’S NEWS: BIG NIGHT FOR PINERO
It hasn’t been an easy road for apprentice rider Lery Pinero.
The 10-pound bug entered last night 0-for-the-year — winless in 70 tries in 2016, according to Equibase.
Well. Throw those records out.
Last night at Penn National, Pinero piloted three mounts, guiding two of them to victories and the other to a third-place finish. His career record now stands at 104-4-5-9 with purse earnings of $73,003.
In the second race, Pinero rode Lil Miss Sassy to a front-running, two-length score for trainer Gina Perri. Although the Pennsylvania-bred Da Stoops mare ducked out at the start, she was able to find her feet and quickly pull to the lead. Lil Miss Sassy paid $21.60 to win.
Two races later, Pinero and Bold Side stalked the pace outside before pouncing on the leaders in the lane and drawing off to a three-length win for trainer Frank Cifarelli. With the win, the Massachusetts-bred — not many of those anymore — finally broke his maiden in his 20th try and paid backers $19 in doing so.
Pinero has one mount this evening and three more on Friday.
- Pinero wasn’t the only jockey — or even the only apprentice — to enjoy a productive Wednesday in Grantville. Journeyman Andrew Wolfsont won three times on the evening — including on It Doesnt End Well in the featured allowance contest — to push his record at the track to 28 wins from 188 starters. The 28 wins are fifth most in the Penn colony, and he is in third by earnings, though well behind leader Angel Rodriguez in both categories. In addition, seven-pound apprentice Pedro Guzman won a pair and now has 16 wins at Penn National, 10th most there.
- Three jocks — Jose Montano, Antonio Lopez, and Jerry Villegas — won two each Wednesday at Charles Town, with Montano’s pair coming for trainer Ronney Brown. Villegas, aboard C. D. Jammin, and Lopez, on My Princess Sophia, took the evening’s allowance contests; oddly enough, the two races, the former for boys and the latter for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares, were contested in the exact same running time for 4 1/2 furlongs, a modest 52.77 seconds.
LOOKING AHEAD: TODAY’S RACING
- Penn National’s Thursday night card is topped by a wide open Pennsylvania-bred allowance that’s going as race six. Eight fillies and mares are set to face the starter, going one mile, and Start Again (3-1), making her third start off the Ronald Rogers claim, is the tepid favorite despite having failed at the level seven consecutive times. Two with lower speed figures, but more promising ledgers overall, are last out maiden winners Sweetest Yet (6-1), for Cal Lynch, and Bowtie Diva (6-1), for Fernando Ferreira. Ferreira and jockey Julio Hernandez have won three of their last five starts together, including when this daughter of Weigelia scored last out at 12-1.
- Miss Gridley (9-5), who was the 2-1 favorite in the $125,000 Landaluce Stakes at Santa Anita last June, makes her East Coast debut in the sixth at Charles Town, an allowance contest for fillies and mares. The daughter of Street Boss, who won nicely in her second career start, hasn’t run well since and has been transferred from Peter Miller’s barn, in California, to Jeff Runco’s. But she’s not the favorite here; that honor goes to Sweet Tangena (8-5), a Kevin Patterson trainee who enters off a win against claiming foes.
- A bunch of West Virginia-bred fillies who look to have some talent will tangle in a 6 1/2 furlong allowance that’s race seven at Charles Town. Favoritism, at 2-1, goes to a Jeff Runco entry of T Rex Express, who dusted similar by five lengths last out, and New London. But also lurking in the wings are recent allowance winner Tribal Heat (5-2), an Ollie Figgins trainee, and the Tim Grams entry of Stella’s Monster and Sweetest Memory.