11/11/2011 12:38PM

Parx Racing: Adirondack King stands out in Elser Memorial


The spring and summer of 2000 was a great time for trainer John Servis. His 3-year-old filly Jostle won the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan and two even more prestigious Grade 1 stakes in New York, the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Alabama.

Flash forward to 2011, and Servis has a son of Jostle who is showing signs he may have inherited some of his dam’s talent.

Adirondack King, a daylight winner of back-to-back key races, looks like a solid favorite in the first of two restricted $75,000 stakes for 2-year-olds on Sunday’s card at Parx Racing.

The Christopher Elser Memorial for colts and geldings (race 7) and the Donna Freyer for fillies (race 8) are both 6 1/2-furlong sprints restricted to 2-year-olds who spent at least 90 days in South Carolina and had nomination fees paid to the South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Adirondack King, the 2-1 morning-line choice in a seven-horse field, displayed the ability to come from off the pace in a pair of races that both produced at least two next-out winners.

A son of Lawyer Ron, Adirondack King survived a bumping incident to draw off by 2 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight sprint Sept. 17. Runner-up Il Villano returned to win with an 80 Beyer Speed Figure as did the third-place horse, Loud Roar.

Adirondack King became the third horse from that field to win when he returned Oct. 17 to take a first-level allowance. The runner-up, Francesco Rules, and the sixth-place finisher, Wrong, both came back to score in races earlier this week.

The only horse in the Elser who has come close to the 74 and 72 Beyers that Adirondack King has posted is Race to the Top. He responded to the drop from maiden special weight to $37,500 maiden claiming company to romp by 16 lengths in his second career race Oct. 15. Race to the Top earned a 71 Beyer for that victory.

Pink Candy, the lone filly with more than a maiden victory to her credit, is the logical favorite in the Donna Freyer.

Locally based with trainer Phil Aristone, Pink Candy is officially 2 for 5, although she also finished first in her second career start only to be disqualified for lugging in during the stretch run. Most recently, Pink Candy came from off the pace to defeat four opponents in a nonwinners-of-two allowance at Penn National on Oct. 15.

The main threats look like Lead Me On, a 2 1/2-length winner over four rivals in a maiden race at Belmont Park, and Blond Valentine, who dueled up front before weakening late to finish fourth in her first try against winners in a first-level allowance. The runner-up from that Oct. 16 sprint, Brown Eyed Nance, came back to finish second going a mile in an allowance.