PARX PICKS AND HORSES TO WATCH: PENNSYLVANIA NURSERY S.
Parx Racing has a 10-race card on tap for this afternoon. Post time for the opener is 12:10 p.m, and we’ve got Parx picks.
Carryovers: Jackpot Pick 5, $171,807
- Knicks Go has final move before PegasusMaryland-bred Knicks Go, the likely horse of the year, on Sunday had his final tuneup prior to Saturday’s G1 Pegasus World Cup.
Disco Ebo dominated the $200,000 Shamrock Rose Stakes for PA-bred fillies at Penn National November 26. This afternoon the two-year-old Weigelia filly will tackle the boys in the $200,000, 7-furlong Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes at Parx Racing.
Disco Ebo, trained at Parx by Butch Reid, cruised home nearly six lengths clear in the six-furlong Shamrock Rose. Sent off as the 3-2 favorite, she posted her third consecutive victory, all by at least five lengths.
In all she has three wins from five starts with earnings of more than $200,000. She has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite.
Her top competition looks likely to come from another horse with plenty of early speed: Uncle Buddy (3-1). On the same day that owner Joe Besecker is selling scores of horses in Timonium, including roughly three dozen two-year-olds, he’ll take a swing in the Nursery with an Uncle Lino colt who’s undefeated in two starts.
Uncle Lino has won his two starts by a combined 9 ½ lengths, both at Penn National, where he’s based with trainer Tim Kreiser. Last out, in an allowance contest, he sped to the front, saw Dr. Steve, who’s also here, draw nearly even at the quarter-pole, and then drew away to win by nearly six. Jorge Vargas, Jr. will ride.
Disco Ebo isn’t the only stakes winner in the bunch. Leading trainer Jamie Ness will saddle Champion by Design (8-1). The Jump Start gelding made a splashy debut, winning the Mark McDermott Stakes on the synthetic at Presque Isle Downs at nearly 8-1 odds.
His last couple are not as promising, however. He finished fifth, beaten two lengths, in the Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes at that same track and then on Nov. 10 faded from the scene in a Parx allowance contest. Leading rider Ruben Silvera is named.
A couple of other runners worth watching are Dance Code and Witty.
The Juan Vazquez-trained Dance Code (6-1) is two-for-two at Parx, having broken his maiden there June 28 and later won an allowance November 10. In between, he made a pair of tries in graded company at Saratoga, finishing a distant third in the Grade 3 Sanford and then ninth in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special. Nik Juarez will ride.
Witty (6-1), a Great Notion gelding, won easily at second asking Oct. 25 at Parx, sitting off the pace before powering home by 4 ¾ lengths. Witty, trained by McLane Hendriks for owner-breeder Elizabeth Merryman, is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Caravel. Carol Cedeno will ride.
The Pennsylvania Nursery is carded as the ninth race with a projected post time of 3:50 p.m.
- #6 Witty (6-1): Stalk-and-pounce style can be put to best effect in race with plentiful front-end speed… Beat a next-out winner in graduation…
- #4 Uncle Buddy (3-1): Hasn’t done a thing wrong yet and enters with a bullet work… Other speed sorts complicate the task…
- #8 Champion by Design (8-1): Pressed speedy Dance Code in last but should get trip more to his liking off the early sorts today…
- #5 Disco Ebo (9-5): Rides three-race win streak into this contest and will hope to outfoot her rivals early…