09/22/2012 2:26PM

Parx: Hihopesemptypockets eyes elusive allowance win


Hihopesemptypockets got stuck on the also-eligible list when he was entered in a first-level allowance going a mile on Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby undercard at Parx Racing. Unable to draw into the main body of the field, Hihopesemptypockets was re-entered in a race with the same allowance conditions and the same distance in Tuesday’s Parx feature.

No big deal, right? Well, if you’re counting money, which is the point of the game for both bettors and horsemen, running on Tuesday is a huge difference.

On Pennsylvania Derby Day, Parx inflated some of its overnight purses, so that the first-level allowance trainer Mario Serey wanted Hihopesemptypockets to run it was worth $94,000 – higher than the purses for many stakes races. On Tuesday, that same first-level allowance purse drops to its regular value of $47,000.

Regardless, it’s still a good chunk of change for the 4-year-old Hihopesemptypockets to shoot for as he steps up off a win over conditioned $25,000 claimers and stretches out from six furlongs to a mile. Five times since late December, Hihopesemptypockets tried and failed to clear his first allowance condition, finishing no better than third while racing at distances ranging from five furlongs to a mile and 70 yards.

His main obstacle appears to be Monmouth Park-based 3-year-old Brainwash, a $250,000 purchase as a yearling who missed by a neck in his first start against winners after crushing maiden special weight company going a mile in his Monmouth debut on July 27. His most recent Beyer Speed Figure of 84 almost matches the par of 85 for a first-level allowance at Parx.

Brainwash’s trainer, Bret Calhoun, is 7 for 24 (29 percent) with horses who finished in the money last time out returning in an allowance route after a break of 31 to 60 days.

New York shipper Majestic Hope also looks dangerous. The last time he ran on a fast main track, the 4-year-old Majestic Hope finished second, earning a 92 Beyer, in a first-level allowance at Belmont.

The field also includes, Rolling Yona, who like Hihopesemptypockets, was scratched from last Saturday’s $94,000 allowance and had to re-enter in this spot. Rolling Yona will be asked to negotiate two turns for the first time after beginning his career with three sprints. He did win his career debut going seven furlongs and prepped for this with a bullet five-furlong workout of 1:00 on Sept. 8.