06/20/2013 12:54PM

Parx Racing: Travelin Man, Candyman E look to rebound in LeVine Memorial

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Michael Amoruso
Travelin Man, who is 1 for 3 this year, will run at Parx Racing for the first time in Saturday's $100,000 Donald LeVine Memorial.

Travelin Man and Candyman E were beaten favorites in sprint stakes last time out. In March, both horses won stakes with Beyer Speed Figures within five points of each other. So, why is Travelin Man the 3-1 morning-line favorite and Candyman E a 10-1 outsider in the track program for Saturday’s $100,000 Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap at Parx Racing?

Travelin Man gets respect partly because he resides in the powerhouse barn of Todd Pletcher. But while Pletcher’s stock runs well in stakes almost everywhere, Parx is one of the few tracks where his runners struggle. Over the past five years, Pletcher-trained runners are 1 for 10 in Parx stakes, with four of the losers going off at odds between even money and 5-2.

Travelin Man’s 102 Beyer for his successful defense of his title in the 6 1/2-furlong Sir Shackleton at Gulfstream Park in March is the best recent figure among the 10 horses in the seven-furlong LeVine. But Candyman E earned that same 102 for his win in the De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park, albeit in 2011. He recorded a 97 in winning the Bensalem Stakes at Parx in March.

Most recently, Travelin Man was fourth in the six-furlong Decathlon at Monmouth Park as the even-money choice. He may have been hampered trying to come from off the pace over a sloppy track that has been tilted toward inside speed for most of the meet.

Candyman E had a clear excuse for his third-place finish at 4-5 in the five-furlong Penn Dash three weeks ago. He stumbled at the start and had too much work to do while trying to rally from last.

Candyman E comes from the high-percentage barn of Tony Dutrow and owns a 2-for-2 record at Parx. He will be making the second start of his form cycle, just like he was when he won the Bensalem.

The field includes three other horses who excel over Parx’s main track. Hello Lover, Traffic Light, and Luckysdream are a combined 21 for 33 locally. The 7-year-old Hello Lover gets a class test after winning a starter handicap at Pimlico in his 2013 debut. Traffic Light, a 4-year-old, began his 2013 campaign by winning a seven-furlong, third-level optional $40,000 claimer May 12. Luckysdream has not been worse than second in his last seven races.

Pass You Bye Bye, winner of the six-furlong Decathlon at Monmouth last month, also is a logical contender.

Horse 2win More than 1 year ago
If Candyman E is anywhere near 10-1, he is the play.