Parx Trainers Nearly Sweep Stakes Races on PA Day at the Races
The 14th edition of Pennsylvania’s Day at the Races turned into an exciting afternoon for local racing fans as they enjoyed race after race that came down to the wire. The twelve race card featured five stakes with purses totaling $400,000 and some of the Commonwealth’s best horses really put on a show.
The biggest purse of the day belonged to the $100,000 Mrs. Penny Stakes, a one mile and one-sixteenth turf test for fillies and mares three and up. Augustin Stable’s Appealing Cat found late running room down at the rail, roared through with a tremendous burst and pulled away in the final yards to win by a length and a half. Ridden by Eriluis Vaz, the 5 year-old daughter of Successful Appeal sat the perfect trip, third, covered up on the inside of the course, just behind the leaders.
Coming off the final turn, Vaz was still waiting for a hole to open up in front of him while all the late runners were in the clear and gaining in the middle of the course. But just inside the eighth pole, the rail finally opened up and Appealing Cat shot through in a blink and was full of run as they came to the wire. Trained by Graham Motion, she was part of an even money favored entry and paid $4.20 to win, covering the distance over a course labeled firm in 1:43.63.
The $75,000 Roanoke Stakes went to John Trippi’s Traffic Light. The 5 year-old gelded son of Peace Rules broke in stride and took the lead right from the outset. Jockey John Bisono then did a terrific job of backing down the pace, covering the opening half mile in a very comfortable :48.19. Turning back the pace prompting Yougotthatgoingforu nearing the top of the stretch, Traffic Light began to draw away through the final two furlongs and bounded home a clear four lengths in front. Off at 3-1, trained by Freddy Velazquez, Traffic Light paid $8.60 to win and finished the one mile and one-sixteenth over a track labeled fast in 1:44.42.
The $75,000 Marshall Jenney Handicap, a five furlong turf sprint, turned into an absolute thriller. In the field of ten, the runners that were ninth and tenth in the first furlong, ended up noses apart for the win. Pewter Stable’s Merry’s Honor threaded through stretch traffic, angled inside late and out finished Oklahoma Crude to win a dramatic four horse photo. Trained by Kate DeMasi and beautifully ridden by John Bisono, the 5 year-old gelded son of Congressionalstorm went off at 11-1 and paid $24.00 to win. The final time was :58.10.
The $75,000 Banjo Picker Sprint also produced a heart stopping finish. When 1-5 favorite Res Judicata got stuck behind horses on the inside at the top of the stretch, the longest shot on the board at 16-1, Rustler Hustler would find himself the beneficiary. The late running long shot sat back early, but turning for home, had come alive with a rally in the middle of the track.
Inside the final furlong, Res Judicata, gathering his momentum again, was closing down at the rail, front runner Last Heartbreaker was desperately trying to hold on and Officer Alex was also making a late bid on the far outside. But it was Rustler Hustler’s day. The 6 year-old son of Ecton Park, trained by Marya Montoya and ridden by Jorge Vargas, Jr. got up late to win by three-quarters of a length and paid $34.40 to win. The final time was 1:10.26.
Vince Campanella’s Aunt Ellipsis rallied to win the $75,000 Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes for three year-old fillies. The daughter of Successful Appeal sat three lengths off a pair of dueling front runners with a half mile to go and then ran past a tired Disco Chick inside the eighth pole to win by just under two lengths at the finish. It was the second stakes win of her career. Trained by Keith LeBarron and ridden by Inoel Beato, Aunt Ellipsis was no better than third choice in the wagering in the field of six, off at 5-2, and paid $7.60 to win. The final time for the six furlongs was 1:11.29.