It was stakes galore at Parx on Monday, August 22nd, seven races on the special 13-race program being black-type events for registered Pennsylvania breds.
Mrs. Penny Stakes
The action started in race 6, the $100,000 Mrs. Penny Stakes. Eight fillies and mares entered the gate for the off-the-turf mile and a sixteenth affair, Love in the Air going off as the 1-2 favorite. The Constitution filly corroborated her favoritism with a dominant victory.
Breaking slightly outward from the 1 hole, Love in the Air showed speed and grabbed the lead, My Dixie Lass pressuring her from the outside. She was still leading when they hit the turn and soon she drew away under a hand ride by Paco Lopez to win by a comfortable six lengths.
Love in the Air stopped the clock in a final time of 1:47.29.
Her stablemate, Midnight Obsession, won the head bob for place. Ninetypercentbrynn finished 3rd.
The top three finishers paid 3.00, 2.40, and 3.20, respectively.
Conditioned by John Servis, Love in the Air was making her third start in stakes company. Prior to the Mrs. Penny, she had been third behind Princess Grace in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx and was second as the favorite in the Lyphard Stakes at Penn National.
An allowance optional claiming victory at Monmouth in May was the catalyst for her stakes tries.
Owner Main Line Racing Stable, together with trainer John Servis, purchased Love in the Air for $130k at the 2021 Fasig Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale.
Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes
Sprinters took the stage in race 7, a collection of eight fillies and mares traveling six furlongs in the $100,000 Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes. Heavily favored come post time was 2021 Pennsylvania-Bred of the Year, Chub Wagon. However, Saratoga invader Remain Anonymous got the upper hand.
While longshots Hey Mamaluke and Disco Ebo scrambled for the early lead, Remain Anonymous and Irad Ortiz Jr. settled second to last, just ahead of Excitable Lady.
As the leaders zipped through the opening quarter in 21.60, Remain Anonymous circled the field with a bold move on the turn and never looked back, surging away by 5 ¾ lengths.
The Tapiture mare ran the sprint distance in a final time of 1:10.93. She paid 9.00 to win.
After some trouble in the turn, Chub Wagon swung wide and got up for 2nd. Oxana ran a game 3rd. Chub Wagon and Oxana paid 2.40 and 3.40, respectively.
Remain Anonymous was making her first start off the claim for trainer Rob Falcone Jr and owner Sanford J. Goldfarb. She had most recently dominated a $32k claimer at Saratoga on July 15th in wire-to-wire fashion.
Remain Anonymous was a $47k RNA at the 2021 Keeneland November Sale.
Marshall Jenney Handicap
In race 8, more sprinters headed postward, this time a group of colts and geldings, three years old and up. Originally scheduled for the turf, the Marshall Jenney Handicap instead ran on dirt at the same distance, attracting six runners after scratches.
It was defending champion Admiral Abe who was favored come post time, but ultimately it was LC Racing’s Smooth B who prevailed.
Breaking from post 7, Admiral Abe rushed to the lead, Smooth B and big longshot Button Box not far behind. It became a match race once they reached the top of the stretch, Admiral Abe and Smooth B drawing well clear of a weakening Button Box. Eventually, Smooth B and jockey Frankie Pennington wore down Admiral Abe and were victorious by 3 ¾ lengths.
The son of Weigelia boasted a final time of 57.71. 4.20 was the payoff if you had bet him to win.
Back in second was Admiral Abe. Gone Inzane closed well to grab 3rd. The aforementioned duo paid 2.20 and 3.60 to place and show.
Smooth B’s win in the Marshall Jenney Handicap was his first win since June of 2021, when he defeated $40k claimers at Belmont Park.
The win was trainer Butch Reid’s first of two stakes wins on the card and his second stakes victory in two days, with his promising two-year-old filly Vedareo dazzling in the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth on Sunday, August 21st. It was also the second stakes win of the day for owner LC Racing, jockey Frankie Pennington, and stallion Weigelia.
Miss Blue Tye Dye Stakes
Two-year-old fillies set hoof on the track in race 9, the $100,000 Miss Blue Tye Dye Stakes. Flor de Sombra, a homebred for owner Joseph M. Imbesi, went off as the heavy favorite at 1-5. The gray filly lived up to her odds, winning the five and a half furlong sprint wire to wire.
From the gate, Flor de Sombra quickly advanced between horses and took the lead up the backstretch. Setting an opening quarter of 22.33, she widened her advantage to seven lengths rounding the turn. First-time-starter Marion Grace ran a big race to grab 2nd but couldn’t catch Flor de Sambra, who won by two lengths geared down under Silvestre Gonzalez.
The final time was 1:06.31.
Ice closed well to finish 3rd. The top three finishers paid 2.40, 5.10, and 2.20, respectively.
Trained by one of the top Mid-Atlantic trainers, Guadalupe Preciado, Flor de Sambra had only one start on her resume when she entered the starting gate for the Miss Blue Tye Dye Stakes. She debuted in a maiden special weight at Parx on July 26th and decimated her competition by 7 ¾ lengths.
With her win on Monday, the Social Inclusion filly has amassed earnings of $79,000 so far in her career.
Whistle Pig Stakes
The $100,000 Whistle Pig Stakes went off as race 10 on the PA Day program, more two-year-olds heading postward to contest the five and a half furlong event. Ninetypercntmaddie left the gate as the 6/5 favorite and provided her connections (and sire!) with their second stakes win of the day.
Ninetypercntmaddie vied for the lead from the three path and put her nose in front, just ahead of A Western Yarn and Deacon Dougie. Nearing the far turn, the daughter of Weigelia started to draw clear of her rivals after a quarter in 22.57. Ninetypercntmaddie held off the charge of Keithsendshelloooo and extended her winning margin to 3 ½ lengths.
The clock was stopped at a final time of 1:05.61.
At big odds of 57/1, Keithsendshelloooo was 2nd, ten lengths ahead of 3rd place finisher Upstate and Back. The top three finishers paid 4.60, 26.60, and 10.00.
Ninetyprcentmaddie, a homebred for LC Racing, trained by Butch Reid Jr., made her record a perfect two-for-two in her Whistle Pig victory. She broke her maiden by a nose on debut at Parx on July 9th, defeating nine rivals, including Keithsendshelloooo.
Earlier on the card, LC Racing, Butch Reid Jr, and Frankie Pennington won the Marshall Jenney Handicap with Smooth B.
Banjo Picker Sprint Stakes
Sprinters aged three years old and up contested the six furlong $100,000 Banjo Picker Sprint Stakes in race 11. Six-time stakes winner Beren was the public’s choice at 6/5 and was looking to grab Butch Reid Jr. and Frankie Pennington their third PA Day stakes win.
3/2 second choice and defending champion Fortheluvofbourbon proved victorious, Paco Lopez in the saddle.
Breaking sharply, Fortheluvofbourbon sat in third position for the first quarter, run in 22.23 by Jw’s Third Mischie. As the field rounded the first turn, Fortheluvofbourbon took aim on the leaders, taking command over Thiscatcanjump and a tiring Jw’s Third Mischie. The five-year-old gelded son of Bourbon Courage drifted wide in the stretch then edged away to win by four lengths. The final time for the sprint was 1:10.53.
Beren split rivals to rally for 2nd. After finding himself extremely wide in the stretch, Breezy Gust ran gamely for 3rd. The top three finishers paid 5.00, 2.60, and 3.00.
The winner, trained by Michael Pino, captured his fourth win in a row. Fortheluvofbourbon has won five of his seven starts so far in 2022, including the Page McKenney Handicap at Parx in April. Owned by Smart Angle LLP, Fortheluvofbourbon as racked up total career earnings of $461,720.
Storm Cat Stakes
The final stake on the PA Day card was the $100,000 Storm Cat Stakes, carded as race 12. Nine older horses ran the mile and seventy yards distance over a fast main track, led by Todd Pletcher-trained Too Boss when they crossed the finish line.
Too Boss, the favorite at 6/5, broke well and raced in the middle of a line of seven runners entering the first turn. He settled in fifth up the backstretch, letting Ruby Bleu and Wait For It lead the way. Kendrick Carmouche began encouraging his mount around the far turn and the duo, widest of a line of five, pulled away in the stretch to score by 1 ¾ lengths.
The final time for the Storm Cat Stakes was 1:43.65.
Far Mo Power surged for 2nd. Ruby Bleu held gamely in 3rd. In order, the top three finishers paid 4.40, 4.80, and 4.60.
By El Padrino, Too Boss’ victory in the Storm Cat was his second in a row. The gray colt came into the race off of a big victory in allowance ranks at Parx in June.
Too Boss is a homebred for owner Michael Joseph Cascio and his wife.
By Amber Joyce, Contributing Editor
Main photo: Love in the Air, ridden by Paco Lopez, captures the $100,000 Mrs. Penny Stakes (Barbara Weidl/EQUI-PHOTO)