03/10/2012 1:28PM

Parx Racing: Media Starlet looks strong for hot connections


Trainer Tony Dutrow might be among the few people in the mid-Atlantic region sorry to see winter give way to spring in a couple of weeks. Picking his spots carefully in both New York and Pennsylvania, Dutrow is having an exceptional winter.

Despite starting fewer than 90 horses, Dutrow’s runners have managed to compile a cool $1 million in purses. Since Aqueduct’s inner track opened Nov. 30, Dutrow has gone 14 for 46 (30 percent) with earnings of $601,012. At Parx Racing in suburban Philadelphia, Dutrow has taken over the lead in the trainer standings with 17 wins in 35 starts (48 percent) for earnings of $413,578 since Jan. 1.

One of the main clients who has been part of Dutrow’s successful run is Michael Dubb. The Dutrow-Dubb combination, who clicked with the 3-year-old filly Mikey Likes It in a first-level allowance at Parx a week ago, are back with another prime contender in the 4-year-old filly Media Starlet for Monday’s featured ninth race.

Media Starlet, 2 for 2 since she was claimed for $25,000 in mid-November, will look to make it three in a row for her new connections while racing six furlongs in a second-level optional $25,000 claimer for fillies and mares.

In her first two starts for Dutrow and Dubb, Media Starlet scored by 2 1/4 lengths in a $25,000 starter allowance and followed up with a dominant 4 1/4-length win in an optional $25,000 claimer in New York while earning a career-best 82 Beyer Speed Figure.

In the last 90 days, horses owned solely by Dubb and trained by Dutrow are 5 for 11 with a healthy $3.07 return on investment.

If Media Startlett, who will break from the rail under Frankie Pennington, runs back to her last race, she should defeat her five rivals in Monday’s feature. The next fastest last-out figure is the 73 the 4-year-old Kalambaka Queen earned for her all-out effort to defeat $16,000 starter-allowance foes a month ago.

Steph’s Bullet takes the next step up the class ladder after trouncing first-level allowance rivals by 5 1/4 lengths in her seventh attempt to clear the condition, earning a modest 70 Beyer.

Officer Big Red was a model of consistency from Oct. 10 to Feb. 4, collecting 5 wins, a pair of seconds, and a third in 8 starts before throwing in a clunker at this same level as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite Feb. 20. Likewise, Hard Rock Candy comes off a subpar sixth-place finish following six straight races in which she was not worse than third.