12/07/2009 12:00AM

Ness entry formidable in feature


After dominating the trainer standings at Tampa Bay Downs and Presque Isle Downs earlier this season, Jamie Ness is making a major impact this fall at Penn National.

Since Presque Isle's meet ended in late September, Ness has been running horses regularly at Penn National, winning with 15 of 53 starters through Thursday. Since Nov. 1, Ness has gone 11 for 33 there.

Ness has a good shot to improve upon those statistics when he saddles the coupled entry of Bluebird Quartet and Taking Stock in Tuesday night's feature, a first-level allowance for fillies and mares. The $36,000 race drew a field of 10 and goes as race 5 on a nine-race card that begins at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.

Ness won 62 races at Tampa Bay last winter and spring, finishing 15 ahead of runner-up Kirk Ziadie in the meet standings. He went on to win at a 33 percent clip while collecting 71 wins at Presque Isle - more than double that of his closest competition.

Both fillies that Ness has lined up for Tuesday night's feature are owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc., for whom the trainer has won with 135 of 382 starters (35 percent) this season.

David Cardoso, Ness's go-to rider at Penn National, has the mount on Bluebird Quartet, a 3-year-old who won her first start locally against $25,000 conditioned claimers.

The 4-year-old Taking Stock will be making her first start for Ness since shipping in from Chicago. Taking Stock should have a good feel for the local track after a pair of five-furlong workouts.

Robynthekoop, recent winner of an allowance restricted to statebreds, and Specific Blend, who will be making her first start since easily winning her maiden more than six months ago at Churchill Downs, look like the top threats to the Ness entry.

Robynthekoop moves back into open company after back-to-back solid efforts against Pennsylvania-breds. She remains eligible for this condition despite her victory in a restricted first-level allowance on Nov. 11.

Specific Blend romped by more than 10 lengths while racing for a $30,000 claiming price on April 28, was claimed, and then rested. Trainer Stephanie Beattie is dangerous with long layoff types making their first start for her barn. According to DRF's Formulator, Beattie has won with 6 of her last 17 starters (35 percent) making their first start for her after a layoff of more than 180 days.