09/18/2010 12:17PM

Familiar rivals meet again at Parx


In order to be eligible for Monday’s co-featured ninth race at Parx Racing, a five-furlong starter allowance for fillies and mares going five furlongs on turf, a horse must have run for a claiming price of $16,000 or less sometime within the past two seasons. Indycat satisfied the requirement less than two weeks ago, while Suzzona qualified way back in April 2009.

Both mares are in sharp form and figure prominently in one of two starter allowances with purses of $37,000 on the 10-race card. The other, race 7, carries identical conditions, but is longer in distance at 7 1/2 furlongs on the grass.

Monday’s race marks the third time Suzzona and Indycat have clashed. In late July, Suzzona won a third-level optional claimer while running for a $40,000 tag at Parx, then known as Philadelphia Park. She won by 1 1/2 lengths and finished 6 1/4 lengths in front of Indycat.

In early June, Suzzona finished second as the 1-5 favorite in an optional $40,000 claimer at Colonial Downs. Indycat, making her first start off a 7 1/2-month layoff, was 6 3/4 lengths behind Suzzona that day.

The 6-year-old Suzzona is 10 for 18 in turf sprints. She has won 7 of 13 starts, including her two most recent races, since trainer Ben Feliciano Jr. claimed her for $10,000 at Laurel Park in April 2009.

The 5-year-old Indycat is wheeling back just 12 days after cruising to a 3 1/2-length win against $10,000 claimers at Suffolk Downs. It was her best performance since she won back-to-back races against high-priced optional claimers at Laurel Park last fall.

◗ Profit, who has 2 wins and 2 seconds in her last 5 starts, is the logical horse to beat in race 7.

Mountaineer: Beware shippers

Two trainers who have a better than 40 percent strike rate with shippers to Mountaineer Racetrack the past two seasons have contenders in Monday night’s featured eighth race, a 5 1/2-furlong allowance sprint for fillies and mars who have never won three races.

Tom Amoss brings in Courante, the probable favorite, from Hoosier Park. Since 2009, Amoss is 21 for 48 (44 percent) with horses he has brought to Mountaineer, according to DRF’s Formulator. Although Courante has been off since winning a first-level allowance at Indiana Downs in mid-April, she won her maiden by more than 10 lengths off a similar layoff last year.

Atlantic Hills, claimed out of a win for $5,000 three starts ago at Penn National, is a front-running 3-year-old who will break from the rail. Trainer Jevon Crumley is 7 for 15 overall at Mountaineer this season and 15 for 37 (41 percent) with all his shippers to Mountaineer over the past two seasons.

The other dangerous shipper is Bright Snow, who comes off a 4 1/2-length allowance win at River Downs and is trained by Akiko Gothard, who is 5 for 21 with runners she has brought to Mountaineer this year.