Things really fell into place for Gundpowder Farms' Indian Paint, who jumped to the top of the Fantasy Ownership Challenge standings June 24.
Trainer Kelly Rubley entered the 4-year-old Uncle Mo filly at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania and Delaware Park Saturday. The Parx race, a $47,000 allowance race, was scheduled for one mile and 70 yards on the turf, while the Delaware race, a $36,000 entry-level allowance test, was scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
Indian Paint, who broke her maiden at Laurel Park in April, had never run on the grass. As it turned out, a line of storms that blew through Delaware and Pennsylvania in the morning led to both races being taken off the grass.
The Parx race was left with a four-horse field, and only two—one of them Indian Paint, who only had a short ship from the Fair Hill Training Center—ended up running in the Delaware race after eight scratches.
Two-horse fields aren't good for pari-mutuel handle, but this one was good for Indian Paint. Jockey Edwin Gonzalez urged her past What About Tonight heading for home and the filly drew away with ease to win by 11 lengths in 1:47.55 on a track rated fast.
Indian Paint earned $21,600 for the win, which pushed her contest earnings to $55,620, about $9,500 more than Flight Crew in second. The top two are followed by Yes Mz Adah, Participate and Claravoyant, who is scheduled to race Sunday, June 25 in an allowance race at Laurel.
Joan Everett's Participate, a winner when the Fantasy Ownership Challenge began March 18 at Laurel Park, found her way back to the winner's circle June 17 with a neck victory over Beaches N Bourbon in a claiming event on the turf.
Trained by Jason Egan and ridden by Forest Boyce, Participate rated just off the early pace, took over the stretch and held on to win the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:41.51 on a course rated firm. She paid $11.80 to win as the fourth choice in an eight-horse field.
The 4-year-old filly by Include is a Maryland homebred, and as such qualified for the 30% Maryland-bred or -sired bonus. Her total race earnings of $17,043 increased her Challenge bankroll to $38,720, which moved her up to third in the standings of about 40 horses whose names were randomly drawn when the contest began.
As of the racing of June 17, Danny Limongelli's Flight Crew topped the standings with $46,028 in contest earnings, followed by Andrew Sulley's Yes Mz Adah with $40,070. The top five is rounded out by Gunpowder Farms' Indian Paint ($34,020) and Triple Tree Stable's Claravoyant ($31,030), who was entered June 17 at Delaware Park as main-track-only and scratched when the race remained on the turf.
(Photo by Jim McCue/MJC)
Andrew Sulley's Yes Mz Adah, a winner at Parx Racing last time out in her first start for trainer Patricia Farro, made it two in a row June 10 with a victory in a $16,000 claiming event at about one mile on the turf.
Sulley claimed the 4-year-old Yesbyjimminy filly for $12,500 at Parx April 22, and she returned a month to later to win for the same claiming price in a seven-furlong dirt race. Emmanuel Esquivel was aboard for both of her wins.
The purse for the June 10 race was $34,250, and Yes Mz Adah collected a generous $19,800 share. That places her Fantasy Ownership Challenge earnings at $40,070, good for second behind Flight Crew with $46,028. Indian Paint is third with $34,020.
Yes Mz Adah, who has been based at the Pennsylvania track, just happened to race in one of six events that were part of the March 18 Fantasy Owners Day at Laurel Park.
Take a Shot LLC's Max's Warrior rallied from last at the half-mile mark to win a $4,000 claiming race June 2 at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
Ridden by Tyler Connor for trainer Kimberly Graci, Max's Warrior covered the one mile in 1:42.15 on a fast track and paid $7.60 to win as the second choice in a field of six. She became the third Fantasy Ownership Challenge participant to win a race in Pennsylvania in about a week's time.
Max's Warrior, a 5-year-old mare by Warrior's Reward, collected $6,300 for the victory and now has $11,127 in contest earnings. That moved her from 27th to 18th on the list of about 40 Challenge runners.
Remember, live racing returns to Laurel Park June 9 for the summer meet, which runs through Aug. 20 with racing three days a week on a Friday-through-Sunday schedule.
Fantasy Ownership Challenge runners Gethot Stayhot and Yes Mz Adah both won in Pennsylvania during the Memorial Day weekend.
Maryland City Racing's Gethot Stayhot shipped to Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course May 27 and made the journey worthwhile with a 3 1/2-length victory in a $4,000 claiming race for trainer Richard Sillaman.
The 5-year-old New York-bred gelding, ridden by Angel Cruz, paid $10.40 to win as the third choice in a nine-horse field. Gethot Stayhot earned $6,300 to increase his Challenge bankroll to $8,745.
It was fifth race for Gethot Stayhot since the Challenge began March 18 at Laurel Park and his best performance since that time. The Maryland-based runner was the first contest horse to win a race outside of Maryland.
On May 29 at Parx Racing, Andrew Sulley's Yes Mz Adah followed suit with a gate to wire to win a $12,500 claiming race by 2 1/2 lengths for trainer Patricia Farro and jockey Emmanuel Esquivel. She paid $5.40 to win as the favorite in a field of eight.
Yes Mz Adah, who has been based at Parx, collected a first-place check worth $13,200, which pushed her contest earnings to $20,270. That puts her 10th in the standings.
Danny Limongelli's Flight Crew, who kicked off the Fantasy Ownership Challenge March 18 with a victory, soared to the top of the contest standings with a win in a $52,000 allowance race on the turf at Pimlico Race Course May 20.
Flight Crew, a 4-year-old colt by Elusive Quality, entered the race with $16,388 in contest earnings and sat 10th in the standings. The $29,640 winner's share of the purse on Preakness Day pushed his bankroll to $46,028, about $12,000 more than Indian Paint, who took a short-lived lead in the standings with a third-place finish in an allowance race at Pimlico the previous day.
Trained by Hugh McMahon, who scratched Ruth Less Blue, the other half of the Limongelli entry in the second race, Flight Crew made the most of only his second start on the turf. He finished seventh on the grass in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Indiana Grand last September but got the job done in the five-furlong turf event at Pimlico.
Katie Davis rode the winner, who paid $21.20 to win and covered the distance in :58.30 on a course rated good after overnight rain. Flight Crew was claimed by Limongelli for $10,000 at Churchill Downs last November and shipped to the Mid-Atlantic region.
(Photo by Tom LaMarra)