Lupe Preciado and Butch Reid have trained some very good horses in their careers. Favorite Tale won more than $1 million for Predicado and finished third in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Vequist was the 2020 2-year-old filly champion, Afleet Again a BC Marathon winner and Poseidon’s Warrior a Grade I winner for Reid.
But the two Parx Hall of Famers now have the most consistent high class performers they have ever had and who knows what the final accomplishments will be for Pennsylvania breds Chub Wagon and Beren? They both shipped to Laurel Park Saturday for stakes and absolutely dominated the competition.
In many other years, Beren would have been the 2021 Parx Horse of the Year. Unfortunately, Chub Wagon was also running last year at the track. Beren was an overwhelming choice as 3-year-old male champion, just as Chub Wagon was for Horse of the Year.
Chub Wagon was 4-5 in the Alma North. The 5-year-old mare broke perfectly under Silvestre Gonzalez and was just outside the speedy Cheetara. Chub Wagon ran away from her at the top of the stretch and the high-class closer Kaylasaurus was never a threat in the stretch as Chub Wagon won by a comfortable 3 lengths, running the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.03.
“She does everything right,’’ Gonzalez said. “She’s got a lot of class and she loves to run. She showed her grit today on a sloppy track. She overcame that and she ran well.’’
Chub Wagon is now 12-for-13, her lone loss being a second when she was beaten by a horse running the race of her life. She now has 8 stakes wins and earnings of $648,600. She is very simply one of the best horses ever based at Parx.
Co-owner/breeder Danny Lopez said via text that Chub Wagon’s next race likely will be at Colonial Downs or Presque Isle Downs. Like the Alma North, the Aug 16 Colonial race is part of the Match Series which concludes Oct. 3 at Parx. The Presque Isle race is Aug. 15.
Beren had a much more difficult assignment in the
$150,000 Frank De Francis Memorial Dash, his post position between graded stakes winners Special Reserve and Wondrwherecraigis. Sent off at 6-1, Beren, ridden by Frankie Pennington, was stuck in between those two for a time as the field took off down the backstretch. It was the kind of trip where a lesser horse might have backed out and not gutted it out. Beren actually seemed to relish the competition and when the field hit the top of the stretch, it was Beren who was rolling to the lead and he finished it off with a 2 3/4 length win, the 6 furlongs in 109.66
“He loves that wet, sealed track,’’ Reid said.
Beren has now raced 18 times with 8 wins, 5 seconds and earnings of $609,420. He has won six stakes. Reid thinks Beren, owned by St Omers Farm and Christopher Feifarek, will run next on the Aug. 22 Pa. Day at the Races card at Parx.
The DeFrancis has a great history with winners like Housebuster, Smoke Glacken, Thor’s Echo and Cherokee Run. That the race was run at Laurel, just 10 miles north on Route 1 from the University of Maryland campus where Reid went to college, also had special meaning for the trainer. So does Beren.
“He tries every time,’’ Reid said. “He’s such a nice horse. He stood there in the paddock like he was going for a stroll in the park.’’
And Beren ran like he always runs – hard from the start and right through the wire.