01/12/2013 2:08PM

Parx: Coach tries to unlock potential in Monday allowance


Fox Hill Farm has produced more than its share of standout horses in the recent past. Since 2005, the Rick Porter-owned stable has campaigned 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Round Pond, and Kentucky Derby runners-up Hard Spun and Eight Belles.

The colt Coach flashed the potential to join that group as a stakes-caliber performer. A half-brother to Grade 3 winner Ocean Terrace, Coach looked good winning his maiden going two turns at Oaklawn Park in his second start as a 3-year-old last February.

Porter, writing to his followers on the Fox Hill Farm website, said: “I think we have an extremely talented horse with Coach. He was our most promising 2-year-old last year. It is a long summer with lots of good races if he is what we hope he is.”

Unfortunately for Porter, Coach has yet to build upon that one good race. He went on to lose seven straight since his encouraging performance at Oaklawn 11 months ago and continues to chase his second victory in Monday’s featured eighth race at Parx Racing.

A need-the-lead type, the 4-year-old Coach will have to overcome post 8 and a short run to the first turn in a one-mile first-level allowance with a purse of $47,000. He will be ridden for the first time by Kendrick Carmouche, and is unlikely to get an uncontested lead with fellow speedsters Shotinthefog and Armed Intelligence immediately to his inside.

Coach’s best effort since his maiden win came at Delaware Park on Oct. 31, when he allowed a two-length advantage to slip away in the final furlong and had to settle for second, beaten three-quarters of a length, going a two-turn mile.

Shotinthefog is the logical horse to beat, based on his runner-up effort at this same level when he shipped in from New York on Dec. 29. That mile and 70-yard event was only his fourth try on dirt and his first main-track attempt beyond six furlongs.

The 5-year-old Armed Intelligence has compiled a good 5-for-12 career record while racing in claiming and starter allowance events. He steps up in class following a win second time off a $12,500 claim for owner-trainer Luis Calderon.

Debutante’s Dude easily won his career debut two starts ago on Dec. 2. He stretches out beyond 6 1/2 furlongs for the first time. Apprentice Jose Ortiz comes in from New York for the mount.