By Dick Jerardi
Now, “that’’ was a Saturday afternoon.
Parx-based and/or -connected horses that cost a combined $93,000 at the sales or via the claim, win five stakes worth $415,155.
New York Showcase Day at Belmont Parx may just as well have been run at Parx, with some of the track’s best trainers following each other into the winner’s circle all day. And the Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park was won by last year’s Parx champion 2-year-old colt or gelding.
Trainer Danny Velazquez, who spent the summer at Delaware Park and will soon be returning to Parx, had the best day of all, the best day of his young career.
He teamed up to win the $150,000 Maid of the Mist Stakes with Parx Hall of Famer Kendrick Carmouche riding Laobanonaprayer. That was good news. The best news was that Velazquez also owns the 2-year-old filly he purchased for just $15,000 at the Timonium sale in May. She crushed her field by 5 ½ lengths and earned a cool $82,500 for the owner/trainer, less the jockey commission.
Just 35 minutes later, Velazquez was back in the winner’s circle with (on a day for New York breds) the aptly-named Brooklyn Strong. The 2-year-old gelding, a $5,000 purchase at an April sale in Florida, is owned by Mark Schwartz. Like his stablemate, he made a strong run from the back and pulled away to win the $150,000 Sleepy Hollow by 2 1/4 lengths.
Ten Strike Racing (Marshall Gramm/Clay Sanders) claimed Lucky Move for $30,000 on April 30, 2019, at Churchill Downs. The now 6-year-old mare won Obeah at Delaware Park in June when she was sent off at 42-1. She was only 4-1 in the $175,000 Empire Distaff Handicap but made a similar rally from the back that she made at Delaware Park to win going away. Trained by Carlos Guerrero, Lucky Move earned $96,250 to push her over $200,000 in 2020.
The wildest run of the day came from Collegeville Girl in the $125,000 Iroquois. The 4-year-old filly, trained by Richie Vega, looked hopelessly out of it on the backstretch. Then, she began moving on the turn. Her jockey, Joel Rosario, lost his whip. No matter, the strongest finisher in the sport just kept pushing and Collegeville Girl kept lengthening her stride. Sent off at 23-1, she got up in the last few jumps to win by a half-length.
Collegeville Girl earned $68,750 for owners Bob Brittingham, PTHA President Sal DeBunda and dentist to the stars Steve Appel. The filly cost just $18,000 three Octobers ago. She has now earned $270,526.
Exactly 20 minutes after Collegeville Girl crossed the finish line at Belmont Park, Monday Morning QB finished off a tour de force in the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic, leaving no doubt as he won by 3 1/4 lengths.
The 3-year-old colt was purchased for $25,000 two Octobers ago. His MM Classic win was worth $85,155, pushing his career earnings to $225,155 for owners Chuck Zacney (Cash Is King) and Glenn Bennett (LC Racing).
So, in a little more than four hours, those Parx horses came in without fanfare (none was favored) and left with, if not all the money, more than enough of it.