Cinnabunny, Fortheluvofbourbon score in Parx stakes

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A pair of Pennsylvania-bred stakes at Parx Racing provided plenty of excitement April 25, with both the Unique Bella, for fillies and mares, and the Page McKenney, for three-year-olds and up, decided by just a neck.

And for both Page McKenney winner Fortheluvofbourbon and Unique Bella champ Cinnabunny, Monday provided redemption after disappointing outings in their prior starts.

Cinnabunny had finished fourth in her prior outing, the March 7 Penn’s Landing Stakes over the strip. That had been her first start since September and first in trainer Cal Lynch’s Fair Hill barn. Previously trained by Brad Cox, she’d won a minor stake for him and finished a close-up third in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl in December 2020.

Lynch had entered Cinnabunny in Laurel Park’s $100,000 Primonetta Stakes, which took place Saturday, but he skipped that spot to await this one. That proved to be a wise move.

Under jockey Jorge Ruiz, CInnabunny, a five-year-old Golden Lad mare, showed improved early speed and was never more than a couple of lengths off the pace set by Hey Mamaluke. The opening half-mile was a solid 45.58 seconds.

Cinnabunny advanced along the inside on the turn. She tipped outside for running room entering the lane but was floated several paths farther out by the wandering Hey Mamaluke. When straightened away, she kicked clear and then had just enough to hold off the late run of 42-1 outsider Ninetypercentbrynn by a neck in 1:25.03 for seven furlongs.

Cinnabunny paid $6.60 to win as the 2.30-1 favorite. The exacta paid $179.20 on a two-dollar wager.

The win was Cinnabunny’s seventh from 14 career starts and pushed her earnings to $279,120. She’s owned by Runnymoore Racing LLC.

In the Page McKenney, which took place one race prior to the Unique Bella, the comebacking Beren and Fortheluvofbourbon hooked up early and battled nearly every step of the way. The two were never more than a length apart, with Beren leading at the first two calls but Fortheluvofbourbon leading at the most important.

Under Kendrick Carmouche, Fortheluvofbourbon was able to make amends for a sixth-place finish last out in the Fishtown Stakes over the strip. He completed the seven-furlong distance in 1:23.49 over a fast main track.

Fortheluvofbourbon paid $13.00 to win, and the two-dollar exacta returned $63.00. He now has seven wins from 18 career outings, with earnings of $324,200. The post time favorite, I Am Redeemed, might have been best, but after a difficult wide trip, he could do no better than third.

Fortheluvofbourbon is a five-year-old Bourbon Courage gelding. He’s trained by Mike Pino for Smart Angle LLP.

Also on the card was the first baby race of the year in the Mid-Atlantic. The two-year-old maiden event went to Condescending, with Frankie Pennington aboard for trainer John Servis and owner Main Line Racing Stable. The juvenile filly got the two furlongs in 23.18 seconds.