YESTERDAY’S NEWS: LAUREL PARK POSTS $4 MILLION DAY
A combination of interesting races, the return of one major star, and bland racing fare around the country on the final weekend day before the Kentucky Derby propelled Laurel Park to likely its biggest betting day in years yesterday.
All told, bettors placed $4,090,979 in wagers on the central Maryland track’s racing action yesterday, according to the Equibase charts.
The day’s top race, from a handle perspective, was the fifth. Though just a $7,500 claiming race, that event attracted just shy of $540,000 in win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, and super high-five wagers. The race had a field of 11, with Uccello Bello favored at 1.90-1. The level of wagering on the race was more than 33 times the $16,000 purse offered.
The fourth race, an open allowance event featuring the return of fan favorite Ben’s Cat, drew $156,409 in win-place-show wagering. That was the third highest of any race on the card, trailing the fifth ($193,932) and sixth ($171,849) races.
- Ben’s Cat made a lot of racing fans happy when he stormed down the center of the track to win the fourth race by a neck. It was the fourth time in the last five years that he won his season debut. Next up for the 10-year-old: the Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico.
- Royal Renege, winner of last year’s Lyphard Stakes going long on the turf, made a useful return to the races when she rallied into contention in the late stages of the eighth at Laurel Park, a $45,000 allowance turf sprint. But she couldn’t catch Moldavite (11.10-1), who led at every call and prevailed by three-quarters of a length for trainer Linda Albert.
- Bird of Trey’s return to Parx Racing didn’t go as planned. Bettors made the ’15 Pennsylvania Nursery winner the 3-5 post-time favorite in the $51,000 allowance, but the Birdstone colt faded from contention in the last quarter-mile of the six furlong test and finished fourth, beaten by nine lengths. Second choice Atizapan (3.20-1) posted a dominant two-length score under Anthony Salgado.
LOOKING AHEAD: TODAY’S RACING
- Poised for Action (8-5) may have finished fourth, beaten by 13 lengths, against state-breds in his last start. But the Pure Prize colt is nevertheless the morning line favorite in a compact field contesting the seventh race at Parx Racing, a $51,000 allowance contest. Trained by John Servis, who owns a gaudy 14-for-31 record at Parx, Poised for Action broke his maiden two back against state-breds before that fourth-place finish and will have Frankie Pennington in the irons today. H R Express, who thrashed maiden claiming rivals last out, is the second choice at 5-2.
- Resourceful (3-1), who has never finished out of the money in nine starts, will put that record on the line in the fifth at Parx, a starter allowance going six furlongs. The five-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding, trained by William Downing, has three wins, three seconds, and three thirds from nine starts with career earnings of $136,570. Last out, he was a well-beaten third against similar, and the runner-up that day, Runs for Luck (2-1), is also here. He’s been in the money 16 of 20 starts, though with just three wins.