Most Likely Winner: (Race 5: Tonka Flower #3, 3/1):
Trainer Jamie Ness is a force in the region, and he always brings a strong stable to bear on any race that he enters. This ridgling out of Strong Mandate has a decent overall record (17/4-5-2). With over $100k in earnings, he should add to it today and be just fine against another Starter Allowance field like this one. If he can hold the front, he should be well on his way to a score with solid jock Ruben Silvera at the controls.
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #3
Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 6: Solemn Oath #4, 12/1):
Switching to the turf (if rain doesn’t take us off) at Parx, we have a tough little St.Opt.Clm16k event headed our way. Nothing like a big field of 12 to wade through. That means that prices are aplenty, and I think I have found one out of the barn of Jacinto Solis that has upside. This filly was in the keep of one D. Wayne Lukas. Earlier this year, she was competing at Oaklawn in a series of MC races. Though she missed the board in most of them, you have to remember the competition at OP is fierce. Heading over to Churchill after that proved fruitful with a win in a lower MC10k. Switching to the turf actually might be a good move considering the pedigree and field in here. The addition of Frankie Pennington is more than adequate. When this jockey-trainer combo get together, they can be a powerful force on the track. I am hoping this daughter of Paynter remains in the double-digit odds range … one can hope.
Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 9: Dirt, 6F, ALLW48k, 3+):
A strong ALLW Co. race brings together a salty group of 9. That type of Monday race is what makes Parx a gem of a place this time of year with MC Chris Griffin giving us the call from the booth. As far as directions to go in here … you might seriously consider spurning the presumptive favorite in here, Jamie Ness’ Wentz #8. Earlier this year, he was hanging around the barn of John Servis. Coming to Ness, he has had his share of solid wins. Still, some of those were because of specific conditions that went his way. Winning by a head can always turn into a loss.
Another one to take a gander at is Ed Allard’s Always Sunshine #1 with Carol Cedeno in the irons. The seasoned 9-yr-old gelding is as fit as ever, as she continues to bounce from Laurel to Belmont to Monmouth, and finally to Delaware Park. Arriving at Parx, he could be a cinch in this spot. A glance through his form yields some solid results, and speed figs that are not half bad. I don't know if just accepting the 3/1 M/L odds is so great. So, looking elsewhere is not a poor plan.
In that vein and spirit, I am much more enthusiastic about the horse who will be exiting Gate #2. Scott Lake’s Thiscatcanjump #2 already has a couple of runs at this level. Though the results were mixed at best, the 5-yr-old can make an impact, if he can hold the lead. The pace fell apart late in that last race, and that cannot happen again, if he wants to win with Frankie Pennington aboard. One other that I especially fancy is Ed Coletti’s Midtowncharlybrown #3. Most will overlook this 7-yr-old because he was not too sharp off-the-bench for his conditioner. That might have been the plan … maybe a freshening was needed. I like the 2nd out angle, plus this jock-trainer combo is sound with Tony Nunez riding. Coletti has solid numbers in ALLW Co. races, and his charge is just rounding into shape. Look out!