06/25/2013 3:10PM

Dick Jerardi: Don't dismiss any Colonial longshot ridden by Karamanos

Coady Photography
London Lane, with all-time Colonial leading rider Horatio Karamanos aboard, wins the Colonial Turf Cup at 50-1 odds last weekend.

Horacio Karamanos has won more races than any jockey in Colonial Downs history. He is near the top of the standings in the early stages of the 2013 Colonial meet. He has won 1,600 races and $35 million in his career. Karamanos won the 2007 Virginia Derby on 37-1 Red Giant.

Proving once again that the bettors consider this horse racing far more than jockey racing and that just about every race has longshots, London Lane, even with Karamanos and his history, was 50-1 in last Saturday’s Colonial Turf Cup.

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It was not a particularly strong renewal of the Turf Cup, being run for the ninth time. The pace did not figure to be very quick in a race where London Lane, who had won just one race in two years, looked like a closer.

So what happens? The 6-year-old London Lane had one horse beaten until the stretch and then blew by the field in the final few hundred yards, winning like it was never in doubt.

Bred by one of Maryland’s most successful racing families, Howard and the late Sondra Bender, London Lane got a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure in his 22nd career start. Prior to the race, the horse had only hit 90 on the Beyer scale once in 13 grass tries or eight dirt races.

“The horse always tries,” London Lane’s trainer, Lawrence Murray, said after the race. “It may not always show in the final results, but he never gives up and [the Turf Cup] proved that. I’m not completely surprised by the win. I thought we had a shot to finish in the top three here, especially when I found out Karamanos was going to ride.”

London Lane was 31-1 in his debut and finished fifth. He won his second start at 5-2. His price had never been higher than his first start until last Saturday evening in Virginia.

London Lane was eligible to be claimed in his first two starts for $40,000 and then $25,000. Nobody took him back in the fall of 2009.

The following spring, Karamanos rode London Lane for the only time until the Turf Cup. That was the Federico Tesio at Pimlico. The horse ran a respectable third. He tried five other stakes races, but was never in the money – until he was in for $300,000, the biggest purse he had ever raced for.

Nice timing.

Pa.-breds fill card at Penn National

If Penn National had tried to run a card with nothing but horses who had Pennsylvania connections a decade ago, there would have been a lot of short fields. Once the slots bill passed nine years ago, everything changed.

Last Saturday night on Pennsylvania Owners Appreciation Day, the track ran a 10-race card – including two stakes – for horses who were by Pennsylvania sires or born in Pennsylvania. The fields were big enough and competitive enough to attract nearly $1 million in bets. The previous Saturday, with one fewer race, the Penn card got $750,000 in bets.

Evening Show wins again

The Parx-based filly featured in this space last week passed her next test with complete ease. Evening Show had won her previous two races against Pennsylvania-breds by a combined 28 3/4 lengths. Taking on open company in a first-level allowance at Parx Racing last Sunday, she cruised by a decent front-runner on the turn and won by 5 1/4 lengths, getting six furlongs in sub-1:10 for the third consecutive time and earning a 90 Beyer.

Cintron well in front at Delaware

Alex Cintron finished second in the Delaware Park standings last year with 80 wins. He is clearly in front this meet with 25 winners from 108 starts. Nearly 60 percent of his mounts have finished in the money. Cintron is sitting right on 3,000 career mounts and appears to be getting ready with every ride.

McMahon white hot at Charles Town

Since April 1, trainer Hugh McMahon has started 29 horses at Charles Town. He has 15 wins, 7 seconds, and 4 thirds. That would be 90 percent in the money.

In 2013, McMahon, who also races in Maryland and at Delaware Park, is 25 for 61 overall at Charles Town. He is closing on 100 wins for the year with all his horses.

Bill Kaup More than 1 year ago
Karamanos' wife works at the Double T Diner in Catonsville and she touts her husband on the grass. Smart woman.
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
This article 5 days too late, DJ. ;) Cost me the multiple 3. Only at the track to witness another gallant win by Hudson Steele, who I loved ever since his maiden win at Delaware. I sat with a local dude who hit the 3 with LL; he played multiples...I had only the top two dogs.
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
When I saw LL fan out that wide on the final turn for home I didn't think he had a snowballs chance in hell...That Horse ran his *** off and Karamanos rode him to perfection...It was just beautiful!!!...
Dave More than 1 year ago
This article would have been helpful, um, BEFORE the race.
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
Then LL would have been 10/1...
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
Hardly, Bell. I second that, Dave.
ron More than 1 year ago
a jockey that i bet a lot. on turf if he has odds he is an automatic bet.however at our simicast at srp. in nm. we cant bet col.
Perl More than 1 year ago
It's not like Karamonos gave London Lane such a great ride. He circled the field way wide and the horse did all the work in the final furlong. Not saying Horacio isn't a fine jockey, but on this day it was all about his horse exploding.
Bob More than 1 year ago
Horses don't have gas pedals. It's always about the horse . Ask any jockey if he ever made a horse run faster. Answer NO. All they do is keep them out of trouble
Perl More than 1 year ago
I think we are in agreement.
Greggory Kowalkowski More than 1 year ago
Jockeys make mistakes on these types of horses all the time. They think 50-1 they're going to have to save all the ground they can, sneak through a hole and have to get lucky to win with such a horse. That's how Leparoux rides every single horse and why he loses with so many talented turf runners. A lot of jockeys wouldn't have won this race on this horse.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Are you suggesting that an attempt to save ground is a mistake, or that ground loss doesn't matter? Or simply that it's better to lose ground and not get stopped than to save ground and get stopped? If you are arguing the latter, then I agree wholeheartedly. If you are arguing the former then I beg to differ.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Horacio Karamanos is one of the best turf riders in the country. I'm in So Cal and spot play this guy regularly. Played him yesterday on a 14 to 1 shot at Delta. He ran second and paid $12.20. Still made a few bucks. He seems to always be in the right spot for the race shape.
Richard More than 1 year ago
I'd like to get hold of those urine samples !!
ron More than 1 year ago
guessing you had the favorite and lost.everytime you lose theres always that excuse,helt back etc.probably the winning trainers at your track have this dope from mexico that cant be picked up in drug test. you didnt give any the credit to the jockey.a good jockey can wake up a sleeping horse.
richard cowles More than 1 year ago
Thanks Dick..Im sure you had that last one pegged? Not real hard to see who the leading jock is.You are an assett for sure and thanks.
Mike More than 1 year ago
Gotta love when a guy starts resulting after the fact.......
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago