Beyond Smart & Miss d’Oro Take Saturday Stakes
Saturday Parx Racing hosted two state-bred stakes on the grass, the $75,000 Crowd Pleaser Handicap and the $75,000 Power By Far Handicap. Augustin Stable’s Beyond Smart held off the late charge of Athelstane to win the Crowd Pleaser by a head while Miss d’Oro also had to dig in late to win the Power By Far.
In the Crowd Pleaser, a one mile and one-sixteenth test for PA-bred three year-olds, Beyond Smart came out of the gate anxious and a little rank, looking like he wanted to make the lead right from the start. Jockey Victor Carrasco, however, had other ideas. He took Beyond Smart under a good hold, allowing Awesome Dixie to be the front runner, while finally settling down into the fourth position and never more than three lengths off the lead. Moving to the back side of the course, Awesome Dixie was flanked by Starry Moon, part of the favored entry of the Fitzhugh Farm, with Athelstane covered up inside in third and Beyond Smart now easing outside of horses and into the clear. Starry Moon took the lead coming off the final turn but Beyond Smart was closing in the center of the course and made the front inside the final furlong. Athelstane finally got out of traffic and made a valiant try to overtake the winner in the shadow of the wire, but to no avail. Beyond Smart held on to win by a head for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Off as second choice at 9-5, the son of Smart Strike paid $5.60, covering the distance over a course labeled good in 1:48.20.
The Power By Far Handicap, a five furlong turf sprint for PA-bred older fillies and mares went to Mr. Amore Stable’s Miss d’Oro. The five year-old mare got a perfect pace stalking trip under jockey Kendrick Carmouche and was able to hold off a game late run by long shot Rockinonthewater to win a by neck. Breaking from the outside gate in the field of seven, Carmouche quickly got his mount up into the early mix, allowing Ann’s Smart Dancer to set the pace, laying just off her outside flank all the way to the far turn. He moved to engage the leader with about a quarter mile to go but Rockinonthewater followed that move and was an immediate threat on the outside as they turned for home. Miss d’Oro needed every bit of her class and determination to hold off her rival. Rockinonthewater chased her down the lane and was gaining slowly all the way to the wire, but simply ran out of real estate in an effort better than her 9-1 odds would have indicated. Miss d’Oro did prevail, however, winning the second stakes race of her five win career. The Medaglia d’Oro mare, trained by Jason Servis was a strong 3-5 favorite, and returned a win mutual of $3.40. Her final time was :59.13.