Race 1: 5 ½ Furlongs, MCL 25k 3yo
The opener at Parx Monday the 8th of February, is a very wide open MCL 25k sprint. Brananx is a west coast shipper who is dropping about two classes today and is running out of the Danny Velazquez barn. This Cal-bred gets one of the top jockeys in Abner Adorno today too which is one of Danny’s go-to jockeys. This gelding should take the Parx surface pretty well and the 5 ½ distance seems to be his preferred distance as he has two seconds at the distance. Adorno should be able to sit right off the slight pace that is lined up today and edge on by down the stretch. #3 Jimmy the Kid, is a Runhappy baby that has yet to find the winners’ circle against MSW company and drops in for 25k today which is a noticeable drop. His Beyers fit here and the drop should be beneficial. He will be setting the pace early on today and could be out there by himself. With the recent snow and moisture in the track along with freezing temperatures, usually, the track plays to the pacesetters. The only flaw I have is that Mychel Sanchez chose to ride the #4 Fomo instead of the ML favorite which he has ridden the past two starts. #9 Prince Filip rounds out my top 3 and this Juan Carlos Guerrero colt for Ten Strike Racing should get a more firm ground today and is 2nd time out. He also gets veteran and probably top 5 jockey in most people’s eyes in Ruben Silvera today. The jockey upgrade and connections alone should lead to this horse improving and with a field this wide open, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up winning in this field.
Race 2- 6 Furlongs CLM 5000N2Y
In a very cheap field of horses who have not won two races in 6 months, this would be considered to be the bottom of the bottom at Parx. However, these races bring value at Parx and are often the most difficult races. That being said, I am taking #2 Trusting Friend as my top pick. Trusting Friend is coming into this race under Michael Pino barn off the claim from Juan Vasquez. He did not really show up at all in his previous start at the same level, but Pino wouldn’t claim this horse if he didn’t see some potential in improving the horse. Angel Castillo also gets the mount today which is huge. Pino and Castillo don’t team up often but when they do they end up in the Winners’ circle. They are 26% on 23 starts when teaming up and this time it is off the claim for Pino who is 24% on 50 starts 1st off the claim. I think he also has a shot to close into some cheap speed here too which would be the best-case scenario. #7 Loverboy Lou is a New York shipper today for Linda Rice which is a rare sight recently but gets Angel Rodriguez today which is a good sign at Parx. He is dropping in class and has faced stronger and has beaten stronger. Off of the class drop alone, I wouldn’t be surprised if he airs this field and wins in a commanding fashion. However, if Linda Rice feels like she needs to send a KY bred to the bottom tier at Parx in order to win or to get claimed, then something might be wrong with this horse. Yet class alone, should be all he needs and that is why he is my top 3. #9 Followhisfootsteps is a sneaky horse in this field at a price. Freddy Velazquez is a great winter trainer at Parx and this is the season he shines. On paper, this 5yo Gelding is nothing special but the race 2 back, about a month ago he finished 3rd and showed some life, and I think that if the track isn’t too biased to closers or speed, then he might be able to sit a good trip and surprise.
Race 3- 1/16th Miles CLM 12500N4L
This field is slightly better but it is still a Non winners of 4 races lifetime. The entries for Jamie Ness have been in very good form as of late. Jamminwithbrandon is the better of the two in my eyes and has just won for 16k N3L. He is the class of this field too and with these connections, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins easily. #2X Synergized is the rare Ontario Bred but also should be on the pace today and I think the better of the two Lou Linder entries. He just won in the mud in this same class and same race but for N3L and went gate to wire in that effort. I think he could go gate to wire again today and has had about a month to rest before this start. Finally, #7 Boat Over the Hill is my sleeper in this race and if the odds are anywhere near 12/1 then this will be a gift. When Mychel Sanchez gets on a horse for Howard Brown Jr, it usually is a good sign. Brown is only a 9% trainer but when leading jockey Mychel Sanchez rides for him they are 21% on 14 starts. Off the claim numbers are 0/11 for Howard Brown but I think this horse who used to be in Howard Brown’s barn last fall should improve going back to this level and he’s actually moving up in class a tad which is a good sign in my eyes.
Race 4- 7F MCL 10k
This race is very weak and unique as not often do you see a MCL 10k (the bottom of the bottom) at 7Furlongs. However, I think only 1 horse can win this race and it’s simply based on the class drop and consistency at 7F. #2 Mr Gazzo is dropping in from MSW but has also run at MD 25k. In his debut at 7F he finished a close second at 10/1 earning a 43 Beyer. This led to Michael Catalano jr, bumping him up to MSW after an impressive performance but Mr Gazzo was hit with a sloppy racetrack and didn’t fire at all, he actually faded pretty badly. Now after about a month and a half of time off, he gets Jomar Torres aboard who I think is the most underrated jockey on the East coast and drops to the bottom. With experience at the distance and back class that blows this field away, I think he can win easily here. #1 Horse Be With You was claimed in debut for 10k by James Noble, and returns for 10k but a slight cut back in distance and moves to 1 turn. Silvestre Gonzalez has been riding at his highest level over the past year and this horse should be sent early from the rail. I don’t know if he has any ability but his debut race looks solid on paper and the breeding is solid. I think he should be in the mix for the whole race and could be fighting for the lead down the stretch. #4 Be Yourself is another class dropper in this field and I like that a lot in these type of fields. Adorno returns to the horse after riding him at 7F for 25k and finishing a solid 4th. The class drop should be all this horse needs but Amber Cobb isn’t the best and I think the odds will be the tell-all be all for this horse and what kind of performance we should expect.
Race 5- 1M 70 yards MCL 10k Fillies and Mares
#9 Gabby’sgoldenvoice couldn’t get the job done at Penn National for 12500 which Isn’t the lowest level there but finished a solid 3rd. Today she returns to Parx in which she finished 3rd at MCL 25k. But However, I think this drop is needed for her to take the next step which is the winners’ circle. She should be closer today to the pace and I think if she does she should be able to make a good run for all the marbles in here. #8 Gingers Wish is running at Parx for the first time today and drops in from Maiden 40k and MSW races at Delaware. Today she runs for Kate DeMasi which is an improvement from Lynn Ashby. She has shown some early speed in her form but it was tougher and I think the class drop helps her earn that early lead and could be the difference-maker. #4 Spun Run is another class dropper but for Jamie Ness. 2nd off the layoff and dropping to the bottom are usually bad signs but Jamie Ness is on fire so I think this could be a positive angle. Frankie Pennington hops aboard who rode her in her MSW race in her Parx Debut but finished last. The class drop will be key.
Race 6- 1M 70 Yards CLM 5000N1Y for Fillies and Mares
#4 Better Yet is one of my best bets of the whole card. M3 Racing stable is one of the brightest ownership groups in the business and this horse’s last race was a huge improvement on the class drop. I think if she duplicates that previous outing, then I don’t see how she can be beat. #5 Anissa is a proven veteran at this level and fights each time out. Mychel Sanchez stays as the jockey and she has been running consistently as of late. However, I think she is still not good enough to win but she will hit the board. She seems to be really one-paced these days and sometimes loses interest but when Sanchez rides her he gets the most out of her which I like today. #8 Superling has back class here and is another vet as she is a 10yo mare making her 84th start. She comes from the clouds so if the pace collapses I wouldn’t be surprised if she came rolling home.
Race 7 – 5 ½ F CLM 7500N2L Fillies and Mares
#5 Come and Get it should get the lead early if Abner Adorno sends and fights off the #6 Jaffle. Come and Get It has been running decently but seems to need the lead in order to perform at her highest ability. This field is very weak so I’m expecting one of the two pacesetters in the #5 Come and Get It or #6 Jaffle to kick home and fight off the weak closers. #6 Jaffle is my second choice in here and I think the speed duel might be the thing that hurts her rather than hurt #5 Come and Get It. Jaffle is out of the Joe Taylor barn and gets Salgado back who rode her 3 starts ago and it was her best race since joining the Taylor barn. Look out for another performance like that. #3 Touch of Nirvana gets blinkers on today for Jeffery Englehart who also gets this horse for the first time today. She could win at a lower class at Penn but the quick turnaround and addition of blinkers could help here. I think she can be a good piece underneath.
Race 8- 6 Furlongs Claiming 5000 Fillies and Mares
I am going to take a slight shot in this field. #9 La Purissima I think will be the controlling speed early on and if she ends up being on the lead by herself, I don’t see her being caught. Navin Mangalee should be able to get over from the outside post and get the lead. If she gets the lead all to herself as she has recently she has shown she will kick clear and win. I’m hoping she does the same today. #2 Easy Banker is coming in off the claim for Pat Farro and gets Frankie Pennington today which is an upgrade from Rodriguez. She has been in really good consistent form since the summer of 2019 despite the layoffs and switch of barns and surfaces. She should be sent from the rail but might decide to sit off the speed and make one run. This could be the smartest idea and probably a winning one in Frankie can keep her comfortable. I like her in this spot a lot. #4 Knock Out Kid is a horse that has been in my virtual stable for years. She shows up when she feels like it these days and I think this field is pretty lackluster so I wouldn’t be surprised if she decided to show up today. Sanchez on an 8/1 shot is also always a must use simply off of the leading rider being on a price. With the possible pace collapse lined up here, she could be rolling late and picking up the pieces.
Race 9- 1M 70 yards Starter Allowance 8k fillies and mares
#2 Unbridledadventure is obviously the best in this group when it comes to recent form. She is going for 4 wins in a row and she just won in this same exact race less than 2 weeks ago. Angel Castillo stays aboard and this horse has the perfect run style for this type of race. Sit right off the pace and make one huge run to win. #7 Dr. Ann is a sneaky horse in this field. She has been in really good form and just lost to #2 Unbridledadventure last time out and should be a little better today. Jonathan Ocasio is a solid apprentice and can be aggressive when needed and today will be one of those days. #3 Slingin Sammy B ran really poorly in the same exact race as my top 2 selections came out of where she finished 7th in that field. She has so much back class and then since that trip to Gulfstream she has hit a wall. I think she might return to the winners’ circle today though now that she has been home for a little bit from that trip in December.
Race 10 – 6 ½ Claiming 5000N1Y
This race is really bad, but I see some potential for some value. #8 These Blues is in for Juan Vasquez and Mychel Sanchez. He seems to be the best in this field and if we get anywhere near 7/2 I will be very surprised. He should sit right off the pacesetters and make his one run and I think his ability should be enough. #3 Drosselmagic is a sneaky horse who looks to be in form now after that most recent start. Adam Bowman gets the most out of these cheaper horses and fights them to the wire. I think he might actually be turning form as we speak, and this could be huge for an underneath horse at 12/1 ML. #4 Blinding is in for Trevor Gallimore and Angel Castillo. The fact Castillo chose to ride this horse is intriguing. He could be really close to the lead early and with Castillo that could be the winning factor. At 20/1 ML this horse is a must use underneath in exotics.