01/22/2011 1:59PM

$15,000 claim Billy One Lite pays big dividends for small outfit


Harold Wyner, a smalltime trainer who got back into the game last season after a five-year absence, claimed four horses during 2010. Two that he paid $25,000 apiece to acquire went a collective 0 for 3 and another, a filly named Even Better who was grabbed for $15,000 a month ago, has yet to run back.

Those new acquisitions have yet to pay off, but Wyner cashed in handsomely when he put up $15,000 in October to take the colt Billy One Lite on behalf of Ted Hoover.

Billy One Lite won back-to-back starts, one for a $25,000 tag and the other in a first-level allowance, to give Wyner his only two wins of the year. After setting the pace until deep stretch in a two-turn stakes worth $75,000, the 4-year-old Billy One Lite will return to sprinting at Parx Racing for Monday’s featured ninth race, a second-level allowance with a purse of $48,000.

In four starts since he was claimed away from trainer Ronny Werner, Billy One Lite has picked up a check each time, highlighted by a career-best 97 Beyer Speed Figure in a 61/2-furlong claiming sprint on Nov. 30 and a wire-to-wire 2 1/2-length score, worth a 91 Beyer, two weeks later going 1 1/16 miles over a muddy track. Billy One Lite then was hard-used from post 10 in the Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve, fading to fourth after leading until the final furlong of the mile-and-70-yard overnight stakes. He now cuts back to 6 1/2 furlongs, the same distance as his 8 1/2-length romp three starts ago.

Billy One Lite’s chief challenger appears to be Crack the Opus, another horse who is switching from a route to a sprint. The 5-year-old Crack the Opus was a sensational claim for white-hot trainer Carlos Guerrero in 2010. Claimed for $7,500 last May, Crack the Opus went on to win four races for Guerrero, including a first-level allowance and a $25,000 claimer.

Guerrero, who finished one win behind Phil Aristone in the race for leading trainer at Parx in 2010 when he won 112 races locally and compiled a 40-percent success rate, is off to a tremendous start in 2011. Through last Friday, Guerrero’s 13 wins in 25 starts ranked him among the nation’s leading trainers.

When switching from routes to sprints following a brief layoff, Guerrero’s horses have posted a 7-for-16 record (44 percent).