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.