CHUB WAGON BACK TO THE RACES AND BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
By Dick Jerardi
Chub Wagon ended her incredible 2021 season on the last Saturday of September during the Pennsylvania Derby Day undercard.
She began her 2022 season on the last Monday of June. The 2021 Parx
Horse of the Year ended both races where she has been after every race
but one during her 12-race career – in the winner’s circle.
The now 5-year-old Pennsylvania-bred mare had to work for it in
the off-the-grass (after a downpour) 5-furlong $100,000 Power By Far
Stakes for Pennsylvania bred fillies and mares. Hey Mamaluke, who
won the 2021 Power By Far, was alone on the lead until the far turn.
That’s when Silvestre Gonzalez, riding Chub Wagon for the first time,
let his mount start to close in.
Hey Mamaluke, ridden by Andy Hernandez, was still in front with
100 yards to go, but anybody who has ever watched Chub Wagon run
knew what was going to happen. The mare eased by in the final yards
and won by three-quarters of a length. It was eight lengths back to Castilleja, trained by Hall of Famer King Leatherbury in Maryland.
“She was comfortable the whole time,” Gonzalez said. “If I had
asked her a little bit earlier or it was a little bit more distance, she would
have given me even a little bit more. She’s that type of filly that she’s
going to give it her all.”
Chub Wagon is now 11-for-12 with one second in a career that
began November 16, 2020. It was her seventh win at Parx and seventh stakes win, four at Parx, two at Pimlico and one at Delaware Park.
Trained by Parx Hall of Famer Lupe Preciado for owners Danny
Lopez and George Chestnut, Chub Wagon has now earned $593,600.
She is a bit more than 1 length from being unbeaten (her lone loss came
last August at Parx). She came into the Power By Far with a series of
very fast workouts, but the hard race should set her up nicely for the rest
of the season.
“It’s been (nine) months; she had the vacation that she needed,
got back into training, but every three, four days, it would rain, and she
couldn’t be trained,” said Lopez in explaining why it took until late June
to get her back to the races.
Lopez said Chub Wagon may race next in a few weeks at Laurel
Park. And then they might look at some of the bigger out-of-town races.
“As long as she shows that she still belongs against the company
she’s been facing, because she’s going to have to step it up some in the
future,” Lopez said.
Chub Wagon has not yet run in a graded stakes race. She has been
managed carefully but smartly. And she always delivers. The $100,000 Crowd Pleaser, also off the grass and for 3-year-old
Pa-Breds going a mile and a sixteenth was a tour de force for Greg and
Caroline Bentley’s Runnymoore Racing and trainer Cal Lynch. They
won the April 25 Unique Bella together with Cinabunny. They went one
better in the Crowd Pleaser, going 1-2 with Undercover Kitty and Loose
Undercover Kitty was sent immediately to the front by jockey
Charlie Marquez. She was just in front much of the race and then re-
broke in the stretch to win by 6 lengths with her stablemate a clear
second and Epic Luck along for third.
“(Undercover Kitty) had run in an allowance race at Pimlico last
time and he was the only 3-year-old in that race,” Lynch said. “We
were shooting a little bit (high) that day, but this (race) was in mind and
we’re happy it all worked out right.”
Lynch, who was based at Parx for years until moving his stable to
Laurel, now works out of the Bentley’s barn at Fair Hill (Md.). They
have some very good horses together and are buying more. Lynch has
started 35 horses at Parx this year, with 10 wins and 9 seconds.
“Mr. Bentley has a lot of very nice stock coming along and we’re
very optimistic we’ll be back,” Lynch said.