His Royal Majesty Posts Big Upset in Turning for Home Stakes

His Royal Majesty rallied from far behind, caught the leaders in mid-stretch and then powered away to a convincing three length victory in the $75,000 Turning for Home Stakes Saturday afternoon at Parx. Now celebrating its 11th anniversary, the race was the centerpiece of an afternoon dedicated to the Turning for Home program, the racing industries leader in finding and providing new homes and new careers, having now placed nearly 2,700 retired thoroughbred race horses.

Taken far back by winning jockey Frankie Pennington, His Royal Majesty turned into the backstretch with only one horse beaten and almost fourteen lengths off pace setter, Dirt in Your Face. With a solid pace to run at, an opening quarter of 23.54 and a half in 47.47, the five year-old gelded son of Mutadda began to quicken with about a half mile to go. Sweeping past horses while running five wide around the entire far turn, he moved within striking range coming to the quarter pole. His rally never stalled. He continued his terrific rally on the far outside, blew past the leaders just outside the sixteenth pole and then pulled away to win by three widening lengths. Claimed in December for $12,500 by Morris Kernan, Jr. & M-Z Racing Partnership and trained by Marcos Zulueta, he went off as a 16-1 longshot and paid $34.60 win, covering the mile and a sixteenth in 1:46.71.

Newtown Anner Stud’s Chilly in Charge proved much the best in winning the $100,000 Crowd Pleaser Stakes for PA-bred three year-olds. Originally carded for the turf, it was moved to the main track after heavy rains here this week. Ridden by Angel Rodriguez, Chilly in Charge sat just off the two front runners for the first three-quarters of a mile before taking command on the far turn. Opening up a clear lead turning for home, the Take Charge Indy colt left his six rivals far behind, widening his lead through the final quarter mile and rolling home an eye catching twelve lengths in front. Trained by Miguel Vera, he went off as the 4-5 favorite and paid $3.80 to win. He ran the one mile and one-sixteenth over a fast track in 1:47.51.

The $100,000 Power by Far Stakes, a five furlong sprint for PA-bred fillies and mares also came off the turf. Lyno Maraspin’s Wildcat Combat sat a great trip in behind dueling front runners Captain Sam and The Circle Game before angling out for a clear path coming into the stretch. In the middle of the racetrack, the five year-old Messner mare charged to the lead with about a sixteenth to go and then held off the late bid of Afleet Tizzy to win by a length. Ridden by Dexter Haddock and trained by Miguel Penaloza, she went off at 7-1 and paid $17.80 to win. Her final time for the five-eighths was :58.72.

Midnightcharly Rallies To Win Lyman Handicap

Zipper’s Hero Thoroughly Dominates in Foxy JG

Parx Racing opened its stakes schedule with a pair of stakes for state-breds Saturday afternoon, the $100,000 Lyman Handicap and the $100,000 Foxy JG Stakes. The Lyman for the boys, the Foxy JG for the ladies, both contested at seven furlongs.

The Lyman Stakes was won by Midnightcharly.  The 4 year-old gelded son of Uptowncharlybrown rallied from next to last at the half mile pole and got up in the final strides for the victory.  Running into a stiff head wind in the long run down the backstretch, the lead was hotly contested, with Cowboy MZ pressured through fractions of 22.57 and 45.24. Winning jockey Mychel Sanchez was content and patient to linger toward the back, a good five or six lengths behind with a half mile to go, but racing in behind horses and out of the wind. Moving well rounding the far turn, Midnightcharly needed to find some room to run and Sanchez was forced to swing out about four wide to get clear sailing near the quarter pole, but was still about five lengths behind.  Cowboy MZ fought off all comers passing the eighth pole and had moved away to a two length lead, but the early pace was starting to take its toll.  Both Long May You Run and Midnightcharly were now gaining on the outside.  Long May You Run managed to get the lead inside the final sixteenth, but he could not hold on.  Midnightcharly surged past nearing the wire and went on to win it by a half-length.  Owned by Uptowncharlybrown Stud & Godric and trained by Ed Coletti, he went off as part of a 7-5 favored entry and paid $4.80 to win. The final time for the seven-eighths over a fast track was 1:24.17.

Mario Mangini’s Zipper’s Hero, a 6 year-old daughter of Partner’s Hero, overwhelmed her eleven rivals in what, on paper, looked to be a very competitive Foxy JG.  The front running mare made the lead after the opening eighth of a mile and never looked back.  Under Johan Rosado, she was in front by just over 2 lengths after the first quarter in 22.4, stretched that to 3 in front past the half mile pole and after a 46.0 half, had increased the margin to four.  Nobody would threaten her the rest of the way.  Rolling into the final furlong with a six length lead, she stayed on well to the end and while Sweetest Yet made a valiant effort to make a race of it late, the result was never in doubt.  Zipper’s Hero official margin of victory was two and a half lengths, but it was a totally dominating performance that was essentially a one horse race.  Trainer Ed Coletti turned the rare Lyman/Foxy JG double, winning both ends of the PA-bred stakes for two different owners.  Zipper’s Hero went off at 8-1, paid $19.60 to win and finished out in 1:25.0.