Hockey Puck slips by in PA Nursery score
Hockey Puck with Tyler Conner riding won the $100,000 Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes at Parx Racing over Golden Candy. Photo By Barbara Weidl /EQUI-PHOTO.
Favored Newstome led the $100,000 Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes after a half-mile. Second choice Golden Candy led after six furlongs.
But in the end, longshot Hockey Puck would not be denied, and the two-year-old Well Spelled gelding eased out, rallied, and prevailed by a half-length in the seven-furlong fixture for Pennsylvania-breds. Running time for the seven furlongs over a fast main track was 1:25.44.
The win was Hockey Puck’s second in five career outings. Trained by Erin McClellan, he has now earned nearly $120,000.
Off a fourth-place finish in an Aqueduct allowance, Hockey Puck was largely ignored by the betting public, going off at odds of 13.70-1.
Instead, bettors put most of their focus on Newstome and Golden Candy. The former, the even-money favorite trained by Mike Trombetta, entered with back-to-back stakes wins, most recently having won the James F. Lewis, III Stakes at Laurel Park. The latter, meanwhile, had won the First State Dash at Delaware Park for trainer Anthony Pecoraro before running third in the Parx Juvenile Stakes November 5.
It was the Kathleen Demasi-trained Breezy Gust who led the field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.86 seconds, but he had plenty of company; the first five horses were all within a length of the lead at that point.
Newstome had the narrow advantage after a half-mile in 45.94 seconds, but again had company. The top three were all within a head, and even fifth-place Hockey Puck was just 1 1/4 lengths behind.
Golden Candy took control shortly thereafter and established a clear, 2 1/2-length lead leaving the furlong grounds. But Hockey Puck, with jockey Tyler Conner in the irons, was just beginning to rev up and was able to run down Golden Candy, who held second, late. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Newstome, who held third.
Hockey Puck paid $29.40 to win and topped an exacta worth $186.20 for two dollars.
Hockey Puck is out of the Cat’s Career mare Katydid’s Career and is a homebred for Wagon Wheel Farm.
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