Yesterday and today: July 24 racing highlights

by | Jul 24, 2016 | Breaking, Maryland, MD Racing, New Jersey, NJ Racing, PA Racing, Pennsylvania, Racing, Regionwide

Saratoga Jack. Photo By Barbara Weidl/EQUI-PHOTO

From Staff Reports

YESTERDAY’S NEWS: SARATOGA JACK, FAT KAT TAKE PARX STAKES

From a Parx Racing release

Parx Racing played host to two Pennsylvania-bred stakes on the turf Saturday afternoon, the $100,000 Power by Far for fillies and mares at five furlongs and the $100,000 Crowd Pleaser for three year-olds at one mile and one-sixteenth. Fat Kat was impressive in a gate to wire performance to win the Power by Far, while Saratoga Jack dominated the Crowd Pleaser in his turf debut, winning by nearly six lengths.

While a field of seven broke from the gate in the Crowd Pleaser Stakes, it was really just a one-horse race. Jean Mahoney’s Saratoga Jack, a son of Emperor Tiberius, had made six career starts to this point, all on dirt. Placed on the grass for the first time by trainer Miguel Vera, Saratoga Jack showed his affinity for the new surface immediately. Jockey Jose Flores sent him to the front in the first furlong and the pair never looked back. They got some mild early pressure from Misty Nofty through an opening quarter in 23.27 but by the time they were midway around the first turn, ‘Jack’ was two lengths in front.

That was as close as the race would be. The lead grew to two and a half with a half-mile to go and then by just over three approaching the quarter pole. The other jockeys were whipping and driving but to no avail. Flores kept his mount busy through the stretch run and simply kept pouring it on. By the time they hit the wire, they were almost six in front, winning with complete authority, officially by five and three-quarter lengths. Off as third choice, Saratoga Jack paid $8.40 to win and covered the distance on a course labeled firm in 1:44.47.

In the Power by Far, Fat Kat broke like a shot and was clear of her five rivals in the opening strides. She remained just clear of her nearest pursuer Haunted Vision racing to the far turn when Haunted Vision began to make her run. A failed run it would be however. Moving to within about a half-length of Fat Kat coming to the quarter pole was as close as she’d get.

Roused by winning jockey Edwin Rivera turning for home, Fat Kat quickly kicked away to a clear lead once again, leading by two coming down to the final furlong and then continuing to widen that lead as she streaked to the wire. She flashed home a convincing three lengths in front, finishing out in :57.18. Owned by LC Racing, Squire Thoroughbreds and Wake the Dame, the 5 year-old Weigelia mare was a beaten favorite in this race last year, but made amends today with a terrific performance for trainer Butch Reid. Off as no better than third choice, she paid $9.20 to win.

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LOOK AHEAD: TODAY’S RACING

  • Tracks in action today: Laurel Park, Monmouth Park, Parx Racing.
  • Check out The GQ Approach for full-card handicapping of Laurel Park today.
  • A good group is slated to contest Laurel Park’s eighth race, a $45,000 allowance test going six furlongs.  Larry Murray trainee Blu Moon Ace (5-2) gets the nod as morning line favorite off a nearly-seven length win over first allowance foes and will have Jevian Toledo in the irons.  But Struth (3-1) impressed when second by a neck to Demon Buster last out in just his second start off an 18-month layoff.  And Cho Time (6-1), though fourth last out, comes out of a race in which all three to run back have won.
  • Monmouth Park’s Sunday card is topped by the Grade 3, $100,000 Boiling Springs Stakes for three-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the turf.  Galileo’s Song (5-2) is favored for trainer Chad Brown.  For more on the Boiling Springs, click here.
  • Two-year-olds take center stage at Parx Racing with a pair of maiden special weight contests for juveniles going 5 1/2 furlongs.  In race two, for the boys, the Guadalupe Preciado entry of Ledbetter (by Stay Thirsty) and Magnolia Mountain (by Quality Road) is the 5-2 morning line favorite.  Both will be making their career debuts.  In race six, for fillies, Kelly Breen trainee Frank’s Folly (3-1), by Mineshaft, is the morning line favorite.