Eons, High Opinion score in MATCH stakes
Five-year-old High Opinion and six-year-old Eons bear some similarities: both are veteran turf runners, and both have earnings well into the six figures.
And, as it happens, both won MATCH Series stakes races Tuesday at Parx Racing. High Opinion earned the first stakes win of her career with a popular victory in the Neshaminy Stakes, while Eons held off heavily favored Beacon Hill to win the Bensalem.
Both races were contested at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, and both were pretty eventful.
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High Opinion had been second or third in three graded events in her last four starts and went off as the 4-5 favorite. Jockey Flavien Prat rode her like a big favorite, keeping her outside and away from trouble.
High Opinion was mid-flight early and a handful of lengths off the pace of early leader Tightly Twisted, who led through a half-mile in 48.71 seconds and three quarters in 1:12.72. In the lane, High Opinion bid up to even terms and then inched away to win by three parts of a length in 1:43.32 over good going.
High Opinion paid $3.80 to win. The exacta, with late-arriving longshot Tic Tic Tic Boom (34-1) in second, returned $98.80 on a two-dollar wager.
High Opinion, trained by Tony Dutrow for Woodford Racing LLC and Team D, now has three wins and over $357,000 in earnings from 13 career outings.
B B’s Busted, off as the longest shot on the board, was put in tight early, bobbled, and lost rider Ruben Silvera. Silvera walked off under his own steam, while B B’s Busted completed the course before being gathered by the outriders.
Two races later, Eons rallied from the rear of the field and then held off Beacon Hill to win the Bensalem by a nose in 1:42.71 for 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
With Trevor McCarthy in the irons for trainer Arnaud Delacour, Eons received a perfect pace setup, as longshots Splicethemainbrace and Repo Rocks threw down opening fractions of 22.62 seconds for the quarter and 46.77 for the half. McCarthy got his mount in gear rounding the far turn, Eons circling the field to attain the front when straightened away for home.
The favorite, Beacon Hill, with Prat in the irons, followed Eons and then challenged him in the final furlong. But Eons stubbornly held him off to win by a nose, with show horse King Cause more than two lengths farther back.
Eons paid $20.20 to win. The exacta, with 3-10 Beacon Hill second, returned $36.20 on a two-dollar wager.
Mandate was pulled up after a half-mile and subsequently euthanized.
Eons, owned by Mark Grier, now has six wins and just shy of $490,000 in earnings from 21 career outings.