03/17/2012 12:44PM

Parx Racing: Familiar rivals start for new barns


After finishing noses apart six weeks ago, Winning Drive and Antenna will find out which one has improved the most since changing hands when the two geldings are rematched in Monday’s featured ninth race at Parx Racing.

The 6-year-old Winning Drive and 5-year-old Antenna are part of a seven-horse field in a second-level optional $25,000 claimer at six furlongs. They are the only members of the field entered for the optional $25,000 tag – the same price which their new connections paid on Feb. 5.

Winning Drive, who nosed out Antenna for fourth at this same distance and level last time out, is now in the barn of Butch Reid, who claimed him on behalf of Waldorf Racing Stables. Over the past five years, Reid is 5 for 16 (31 percent) first time off the claim with runners returning after a break of 31 to 60 days.

Two starts ago, Winning Drive was much the best at this same level, coming from sixth to score by 5 3/4 lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs.

Winning Drive gets a five-pound weight shift in his favor for his rematch with Antenna. Kyle Frey, who rode Antenna in each of his last seven starts, switches to Winning Drive for Monday’s sprint. Frey and Reid are 14 for 45 (31 percent) as a team at Parx the past two seasons.

Antenna will be racing for just the second time since New Year’s Eve. He moves from the barn of fifth-leading trainer Ramon Preciado into the shed row of No. 2 Parx trainer Tony Dutrow. Perhaps more importantly, Dutrow took Antenna on behalf of one of his best clients, Michael Dubb. First time off the claim the past two years, the Dutrow-Dubb team is 3 for 4 with one second-place finish.

Monday’s race will represent a test of class for Antenna, who has been fifth and sixth in his first two attempts while running for a $25,000 tag. His three wins for Preciado in 2011 came in an $8,000 starter allowance and against $7,500 and $16,000 claimers.

Mississippi Man finished ahead of both Winning Drive and Antenna on Feb. 5, when he outran his 34-1 odds to get second. But he regressed from an 86 Beyer Speed Figure to a 61 when he returned at the same level three weeks later. The 6-year-old Mississippi Man is 0 for 5 lifetime at Parx and winless in 11 starts overall since taking a $50,000 claiming turf sprint at Gulfstream Park in January 2011.