02/25/2012 1:58PM

Parx Racing: The Camden Comet tops strong Iannotti entry in allowance


Maryland-based trainer Tom Iannotti is in a prime position to bring home the lion’s share of the $47,000 purse up for grabs in Monday’s featured ninth race at Parx Racing, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-old Pennsylvania-breds eligible for a first-level allowance.

Iannotti has the coupled entry of The Camden Comet, dropping in class following the first poor performance of his three-race career in Laurel’s Dancing Count, and Tapps, a former maiden claimer who was part of a double disqualification against open-allowance company last time out.

Ricardo Chiappe, the regular rider of The Camden Comet and Tapps, is named on both halves of the entry. Both horses are owned by The Elkstone Group headed by Stuart Grant, one of the partners in the Grade 1-winning filly Grace Hall, who made her 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park. The Elkstone Group is one of Iannotti’s main clients. They have combined for 46 victories in 152 starts (20 percent) over the last two seasons.

A 6 3/4-length win over Pennsylvania-bred maidens at Penn National encouraged The Camden Comet’s connections to ambitiously spot him in the six-furlong Dancing Count in late January for his 3-year-old debut. He broke slowly and failed to get involved at all while finishing last of seven. Iannotti has added blinkers to The Camden Comet, equipment that presumably was in place when the gelding worked four furlongs in a bullet 47 seconds on Feb. 18.

Tapps, who began his career running for a $25,000 tag, won 2 of his first 3 starts. He rallied from seventh to miss by a neck as the even-money favorite in a six-furlong allowance against open company at Penn National, but both Tapps and first-place finisher Cuvee Rules were disqualified and moved down one slot each in the order of finish. Cuvee Rules is among the seven rivals entered against Ianotti’s entry Monday.

The most intriguing entrant may be Azu Were, who finally broke through in his seventh try to defeat maiden claimers Jan. 29 at Parx. Claimed for $25,000 that day, Azu Were moves to the allowance ranks for his new connections, trainer Ramon Preciado and Silver Trail Stables. Preciado is 4 for 12 moving horses up to an allowance first time off the claim.

The field also includes Last Heartbreaker, who cuts back slightly in distance following a 5 3/4-length score going seven furlongs against open company in a $25,000 starter allowance.