10/26/2016 1:59PM

Name Changer takes steep class drop for Friday's feature


Name Changer will drop out of graded stakes company to compete against older rivals in a second-level optional $32,000 claiming race at Laurel Park on Friday.

Trained by Alan Goldberg, Name Changer in his last two starts has finished 10th of 14 in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones at Parx Racing and third of 10 in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby.

Prior to making his stakes debut in the West Virginia Derby, Name Changer won a first-level allowance race at Parx by 11 lengths. He’ll be a solid favorite when he faces nine rivals at 1 1/16 miles on Friday.

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Name Changer did not break sharply in the Smarty Jones and then was forced to race in traffic while down along the inside for much of the race. This is a good spot for Name Changer, a 3-year-old son of Uncle Mo, to get back on track.

Trainer Tim Keefe has entered both Stevie Q and Connemara Coast. Keefe claimed Stevie Q for $50,000 out of a winning effort at Saratoga two starts back. The horse tired to finish last in the Grade 2 Commonwealth Derby in his most recent start but has every right to bounce back here.

Connemara Coast scored a 26-1 upset in a third-level optional-claiming race two starts back. He was seventh in the Challedon Stakes last time out.

Bridget’s Big Luvy, the winner of the 2015 Private Terms at Laurel, will be making his second start and his first since June for trainer Kieron Magee. He has three bullet works for his return to the races and could surprise on the lead.