Parx: Empire House scores Mrs. Claus upset

The betting public didn’t see much to like about Empire House in Wednesday’s $75,000 Mrs. Claus Stakes at Parx Racing. They made her 11-1, the sixth-longest shot in the field of nine.

After back-to-back graded stakes tries, however, Empire House was only too happy to land back in more modest company, and under jockey Ruben Silvera, she delivered a front-running, 2 ½-length score.

Both she and My Kentucky Girl are trained by Jonathan Wong for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC, and those two runners bracketed the field, with Empire House’s win on the one hand and My Kentucky Girl’s last-place finish on the other.

Empire House, a five-year-old Empire Maker mare, earned her second career stakes win and fifth win overall from 25 outings. She has earned $238,995.

Favored Centre Court Champ chased Empire House all the way around, but the winner inched away in the lane for the win, getting the seven furlongs on a sloppy, sealed track in 1:25.61. Empire House paid $24.60 to win and topped an exacta that returned $122.80 on a two-dollar wager.

Locally-based runners took the two other stakes on the card as Parx hosted a trio of stakes for older runners, with the Mrs. Claus the only one of the three restricted to fillies and mares.

Empire House
Empire House won the Mrs. Claus Stakes. Photo by Barbara Weidl/EQUI-Photo.

In the one-mile-70-yard Kris Kringle, Ridin With Biden, who had passed on more lucrative out-of-town spots to target this $75,000 event, surged to the lead in upper stretch and then had just enough to hold off 13-1 longshot Amatteroftime to win by a nose in 1:45.56.

The win was Ridin With Biden’s second consecutive stakes triumph and fourth in his last six outings. He has seven wins and $475,000  in earnings from 20 career starts. Paco Lopez was in the irons for the fourth consecutive outing for trainer Butch Reid and owners Cash Is King LLC and LC Racing LLC.

Ridin With Biden paid $5.60 to win as the second choice in the field of seven, and the exacta was good for $44.80 on a two-dollar bet. Favored American Patrol was up close early before fading to last.

Like Ridin With Biden, Repo Rocks entered today’s stakes action off a November 23 stakes win at Parx. And like Ridin With Biden, Repo Rocks made it back-to-back stakes wins, scoring by three parts of a length in the six-furlong Blitzen Stakes. Running time was 1:11.39.

Five Dreams made the early running, while Repo Rocks and jockey Andrew Wolfsont bided their time in fifth, a bit more than three lengths behind, through the opening quarter-mile. They’d moved into second after a half-mile and went on to wear down the leader in the final furlong.

Repo Rocks is trained by Jamie Ness for Double B Racing Stables. He paid $7.20 to win, and the Virginia-bred now has six wins $488,371 in earnings from 31 career outings.