YESTERDAY’S NEWS: Around the horn
Labor Day may have been a national holiday for most of the country, but for thoroughbred racing fans throughout the Mid-Atlantic region it offered a chance to see plenty of quality runners.
Monday afternoon Parx hosted a pair of lucrative one-turn stakes on the grass, one each for the distaffers and males, as well as a two-turn route on the dirt for three-year-olds serving as a prep for the Grade 2, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. One of them proved to be quite formful, while the other two provided onlookers with some of the biggest surprises of the day.
In the $200,000 Turf Amazon Stakes for fillies and mare on the grass, Lady Shipman lived up to her role as the 3-10 favorite when she gained command on the far turn and held safe Maryland-bred Everything Lovely for a length score in 58.06 for the five panels.
A four-year-old Midshipman filly trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Lady Shipman now owns 13 wins in 19 career outings and pushed her lifetime bankroll just shy of $900,000. Lady Shipman had been second in the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint last fall, and that event could be next for the fleet-footed filly.
Two races later on the card, however, Doctor J Dub posted a 24-1 shocker when he led throughout to capture the Grade III, $300,000 Turf Monster by a diminishing length in 58.73 for the five furlongs. A six-year-old Sharp Humor gelding, Doctor J Dub now sports a 2-4-3 slate and $284,000 bankroll from 15 starts this year and he owns a 6-6-5 slate and $335,000 bankroll from 26 career tries.
Then two races later on the card, Awesome Slew overcame post 14 to gain command through the first turn and led throughout to romp home seven lengths clear to forge an 11-1 upset in the Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for three-year-old colts and geldings on the main track.
A sophomore son of Awesome Again trained by Eddie Plesa, Jr., Awesome Slew covered the one-mile and one-sixteenth in 1:42.92. He now owns three wins and lifetime earnings of over $255,000 from six starts and will likely return to Parx later this month for the Grade 2, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby where he could face Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist among several others.
[su_divider top=”no” style=”double” size=”9″]
BY THE NUMBERS: HANDLE
- MonmouthPark: $3,300,192
- Parx Racing: $2,160,698
- Delaware Park: $913,428
- Timonium: $480,455
- Tracks in action: Parx Racing.
- A pair of $52,000 allowance tests on the turf highlight Parx Racing’s Tuesday card. In the first, scheduled for race six, a full field of fillies and mares will go 7 1/2 furlongs. Screaming Skylar (5-2), recently added to the Jorge Navarro barn, is favored. The Smart Strike filly had been toiling on the West Coast for trainer Peter Miller and had run in stakes company in four of her last five starts, including a pair of fifth place finishes against graded foes. Frankie Pennington will ride. Another Navarro trainee, Sequoia Princess (6-1), also figures to get play after a second against similar, and she gets one of Navarro’s go-to riders, Jonathan Gonzales, in the irons; as does Gary Capuano trainee Broken Bridle (7-2), a winner last out at Laurel who will have Trevor McCarthy.
- Two races later, in a five-furlong sprint, Big Louie D (5-2) is favored. The Stormy Atlantic gelding, trained by John Servis, was third in his only prior turf try last out. Jorge Vargas, Jr. will ride. Oddly enough, one of the horses that beat him — Suzanne Dempsey trainee Available (4-1) — also is here and has higher morning line odds, perhaps because of his less than impressive two-for-35 record. Yomar Ortiz will ride a horse who’s come in second or third in three straight and 15 times in 35 career starts.