06/16/2012 10:28AM

Parx Racing: Starter-allowance attracts high-caliber field


Noble Maz was good enough to win the $100,000 Mr. Jenney Handicap last year. Likewise in 2011, Bounding Bi picked up a pair of second-place checks in six-figure stakes, including the $200,000 Turf Amazon. Look At Me Dance’s 2011 campaign included a near-miss in the $75,000 Russian Rhythm at Penn National.

Thanks to the liberal starter allowance conditions of Monday’s $40,000 fifth race at Parx Racing, however, all three mares are eligible to run in a five-furlong turf sprint.

Unlike most starter allowances, which restrict entry to horses who have started for a certain claiming price within the past year or two, Monday’s race is open to fillies and mares who have run for $25,000 or less at any time in their careers.

You have to go back to 2010 to find such a race for Noble Maz, Bounding Bi, and Look At Me Dance. All three have been facing considerably tougher company recently, giving them a distinct advantage over their seven opponents.

The 6-year-old Noble Maz, who last raced for a claiming tag of $25,000 in July 2010, will be making her first start since October. She has been first or second in 4 of 8 starts on Parx’s turf course.

Bounding Bi, who was cross-entered in Sunday’s Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, owns 2 wins and 2 seconds in 4 grass starts at Parx. A 5-year-old mare, Bounding Bi missed by a neck in the $100,000 Jenny Wade at Penn National and gave way in deep stretch to finish second, beaten 1 3/4 lengths, in the Turf Amazon last Labor Day weekend. She last ran for a $16,000 claiming tag in July 2010. In her lone start this season, Bounding Bi was eighth of 11 in The Very One at Pimlico.

Look At Me Dance, who won her maiden the last time she raced against claimers for a $20,000 tag in May 2010, comes into Monday’s race following a close fourth-place finish against optional $40,000 claiming company going 7 1/2 furlongs. She is 4 for 10 on the grass at Parx, including a second-level allowance win last June.

Among the others, the most interesting looks like Wink for Free, a 6-year-old mare who last season missed by a neck and won by three-quarters of a length in back-to-back turf sprints against first-level allowance competition. She dueled early and tired in her 2012 debut last month.