THE PERFECT CHUB WAGON
By Dick Jerardi
Lupe Preciado has started more than 12,000 horses. The Parx Hall of Fame trainer has won more than 2,000 races. The filly that got win No. 2,000 for him on Nov. 16, 2020 at Parx has done something none of his nine graded stakes winners ever did, something none of his horses ever accomplished.
Pennsylvania-bred Chub Wagon, by $1,000 New Jersey-bred sire Hey Chub out an unraced New Jersey bred mare, has begun her career with six consecutive wins. And she did not just win those races. She dominated, winning by a combined 34 lengths.
All of which has her trainer dreaming big dreams. It is a long way until November and the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Del Mar, but that is a goal. When Preciado took his best horse, $1 million earner Favorite Tale, to the 2015 BC Sprint at Keeneland, the horse outran his odds and finished a strong third behind the great Runhappy.
Favorite Tale ran so well despite a whatever-could-go-wrong wrong-did-go-wrong runup to the race, none of which was Preciado’s fault. There was a quarantine at Parx so the horse became a bit of gypsy trying to find a place to train; the van broke down on the way to Kentucky and Favorite Tale drew the outside post. Despite all that, Preciado had the horse ready to run the race of his life.
A Parx-based horse has won a BC race each of the last three years. Could Chub Wagon make it four?
“That would be nice,’’ Preciado said
Next up is the July 3 Princess Rooney Stakes at Gulfstream Park, a 7-furlong, Grade II race worth $250,000. It is a “win and you’re in’’ for the BC. Even if Chub Wagon wins and gets entry and starter fees paid as well as a $10,000 travel allowance, there would still be substantial nomination fees involved as neither she nor her sire is BC nominated. But if she keeps winning, the purse earnings could pay her way to California.
After just those six starts, four since March 2, Chub Wagon is already one of 20 horses trained by Preciado that has won more than $200,000. The 4-year-old filly has earned $227,800.
“We’re going to give her a little time before her next race,’’ Preciado said. “After (the Princess Rooney), we might look at a Pa. Bred race, something easier.’’
Chub Wagon’s sire, Hey Chub, was a really tough horse who raced much of his career at Monmouth Park, going 7-16-7 from 36 starts, with $441,755 in earnings.
After her impressive win in the $100,000 Skipat Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness Day, Chub Wagon’s owners/breeders Danny Lopez and George Chestnut have been getting a lot of offers.
“They’re trying to steal her,’’ Preciado said.
So far, the offers have been underwhelming.
If Chub Wagon wins the Princess Rooney, the price will go up, way up.