09/05/2013 12:38PM

Parx Racing: Golddigger's Boy comes right back in Banjo Picker Sprint

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Tom Keyser
Golddigger's Boy comes back on short rest and drops from a Grade 1 stakes to a restricted stakes.

A week ago, trainer Ramon Preciado was willing to ship Golddigger’s Boy all the way to Saratoga for the Grade 1 Forego, only to see the 6-year-old never get into contention while finishing last on a sloppy track. Undeterred, Preciado is bringing Golddigger’s Boy right back against far softer company at his home track, Parx Racing.

Golddigger’s Boy, Kentucky shipper Officer Alex, and the Bill Mott-trained Jake N Elwood are leading contenders in the Banjo Picker Sprint, one of five $75,000 stakes on an 11-race card exclusively for Pennsylvania-breds.

The six-furlong Banjo Picker, which drew a field of 11, goes as race 9 as the fourth of the five stakes for statebreds.

Golddigger’s Boy, 7 for 14 racing at Parx, has not faced statebreds since finishing a close second as the 6-5 favorite in the seven-furlong Lyman Handicap in April 2012. The previous season, Golddigger’s Boy won the Lyman and the 1 1/16-mile Docent for Pennsylvania-breds.

Over the past two seasons, Preciado is 4 for 25 (16 percent) with dirt sprinters returning in seven days or less. None of those horses ran in stakes, however.

The 3-year-old Officer Alex, based at Churchill Downs with trainer Lynn Whiting, is 2 for 2 at Parx, including a win in last December’s Pennsylvania Nursery. He returns to sprinting on the main track after a failed two-race experiment on turf. Winless in four starts since taking the six-furlong Bachelor at Oaklawn Park in early April, Officer Alex may be much improved with the addition of blinkers. He presumably was outfitted with the new equipment when he zipped a half-mile in a bullet 47 seconds flat at Churchill last Saturday.

Jake N Elwood is 2 for 2 since he was moved into Mott’s barn before his June 16 victory at Parx in a second-level optional $25,000 claimer. He followed up by winning an optional $100,000 claimer at Saratoga. The last time he faced Pennsylvania-breds, Jake N Elwood won the six-furlong Danzig at Penn National in June 2012.

The field also includes Fersmiley, who has raced just three times since last December and not at all since July 8, but is 3 for 3 during that eight-month span; Phil Dancer, who soared to a career-best 96 Beyer Speed Figure first time off a $40,000 claim Aug. 25; and Generally George, who has been no worse than second in 6 of 9 starts at Parx, including a 2-for-2 record against statebreds.

In the other stakes:

◗ Decadent Doll, who has won her last two starts by a combined margin of nearly 18 lengths, and Power of Snunner, coming off a six-length romp at Penn National, clash in the six-furlong Dr. Theresa Garofalo Memorial for 3-year-old fillies (race 6).

◗ Great Investment and Chicharito, each of whom put together four-race winning streaks at different times this season, meet Norman Asbjornson, whose last two races produced a runner-up finish in the $230,000 Mountainview Handicap and a fourth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup, in the 1 1/16-mile Roanoke (race 7).

◗ El Seventyseven, coming back five days after he was off the board in the Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap, and the mare Madrilena, winner of a statebred stakes restricted to females last time out, are among the intriguing contenders in the five-furlong Marshall Jenney Handicap on turf.

◗ Lenape Rim, winner of back-to-back stakes on Tapeta and turf earlier this summer, must overcome post 11 in a lineup that includes the mare who beat her in this same race last year, Sweet as You Are, in the Mrs. Penny at 1 1/16 miles on turf.