PARX PICKS AND HORSES TO WATCH: DEC. 23
Parx Racing has a 10-race card on tap for this afternoon. Post time for the opener is 12:25 p.m., and we’ve got Parx picks.
|Race 1||1-8-7-4||Solid debut for #1 Judicial Mandate (6-1), who chased willingly while three wide and held third after being up close to a fast early pace. A clean break from the inside stall could put him on the lead for a long time… #8 Scotch Rock’s (5-1) closed strongly last time to get up for second — ahead of our top choice among others — and gets an additional half-furlong to make his run today. That’s the good news. The bad: he once again breaks from the far outside stall, and last time he came out about two paths leaving the gate… Trainer Butch Reid doesn’t have a great record with debut juveniles in special weight company (3-for-39), but he’ll send out #7 Ridin With Biden (4-1), who’s been training forwardly, for his debut here. The well-bred son of Constitution is a half to one first-out winner… On the one hand, that was a big Beyer fig earned by #4 Mr. Doda (6-1) last time out when he recorded a 73 while finishing second (and a mile ahead of everyone else) in a race in which the show horse came back to graduate. On the other: that was in maiden claiming company, and there are few things we hate more from a ‘capping perspective than a horse beaten against MCL rivals moving up into special weight company. We won’t toss him completely, but we will want to see him validate that last out effort…|
|Race 9||4-8-7-3||He didn’t win last time, but top choice #4 Jerome Avenue (6-5) didn’t do anything to suggest he’s gone off form. The Mike Pino trainee set a very fast pace early, and though no match for the winner, he finished four clear of the rest. He might be controlling it up front today… Not sure what happened last time for #8 Star Sign (8-1), but we’ll give him another crack to get back on track. His return from a nine-month break prior to that was terrific, overcoming a bad stumble to just miss, and he’s run good races going two turns before. This’ll be his third off the bench… #7 Dig Charlie Dig (5-1) closed nicely against starter company for second last out; the show horse returned to win for $25,000 next out. The mark against him is that he’s still looking to pick off the first allowance condition after 40 starts… The improving #3 Hibachi (6-1) was an easy winner last out against state-bred allowance foes. After losing the first 13 starts of his career, he’s taken three of his last four…|