09/20/2012 1:47PM

Parx Racing: Well Spelled looks for upset in Gallant Bob Stakes

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Well Spelled, winner of the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth Park, will try to upset Saturday's Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing.

Currency Swap and Trinniberg are expected to garner most of the attention – and a large chunk of the wagering dollars – in Saturday’s $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing.

But given their most recent performances and the fact neither has won at six furlongs, perhaps it is an opportunity to find value in this sprint restricted to 3-year-olds.

With a solid pace expected, Well Spelled looks like a potential upsetter from off the pace for trainer Ben Perkins Jr.

Well Spelled, a son of the Grade 2 stakes winner Spellbinder, won the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth two starts back. Perkins said he targeted the Gallant Bob for Well Spelled after that race and wanted one prep in between.

Perkins found what he thought was a suitable allowance race at Monmouth on Aug. 17. But Well Spelled broke through the gate prior to the official start of the race and though he broke well when the gates did open, he finished third behind the graded stakes winner J.J’s Lucky Train and Safe Trip. Safe Trip came out of that race to win a $100,000 stakes at Zia Park.

“It was one of those things – he acted up, but he still broke sharp when he did break,” Perkins said. “He came a little wide that day, but he was closing against a tough bunch of older horses. Another 50 yards, he probably would have gotten up that day.”

One factor in Well Spelled’s favor is he has a win over the Parx surface, having taken a first-level allowance race in April.

Jake N Elwood, Il Villano, and Adirondack King are the only others in the field with a win over the track. Adirondack King is entered back in a $50,000 allowance race on Sunday’s Parx card and is expected to run in that spot.

Currency Swap and Trinniberg meet for the fourth time in their careers, with Currency Swap having finished ahead of Trinniberg twice.

The last time they met was in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop, when Currency Swap finished sixth and Trinniberg was ninth.

Terri Pompay, trainer of Currency Swap, believes her horse was compromised by being stuck on the inside for the whole race in the King’s Bishop. Currency Swap breaks from post 8 on Saturday.

“It’ll make all the difference,” Pompay said of the outside draw. “He came out of the race fine, trained well, I think it’s a great spot for him. I like our post position. I think we have a really good shot. I’m feeling pretty confident.”

Trinniberg was part of the early pace in the King’s Bishop, but backed up to ninth in the 10-horse field. Shivananda Parbhoo, owner and now trainer of Trinniberg, said the horse lost his left hind shoe in the King’s Bishop, but otherwise he could not find anything wrong with him and isn’t sure that’s the reason the horse stopped so badly.

Parbhoo said he planned to give Trinniberg two months off, but said the horse had trained like he wasn’t ready for a vacation.

“My vet’s exact words were ‘He’s as good as good can get,’ ” said Parbhoo, who took over the training of his stable because his father, Bisnath Parboo had to return to Trinidad for a couple of months. “We checked every single thing with this horse and could not come up with anything.”

Parbhoo said if Trinniberg runs his race, “once he goes to the lead, they’re not supposed to catch him.”

Il Villano, who was third behind Trinniberg and Currency Swap in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont in June, looms as Trinniberg’s competition for the early lead. He is 2 for 3 at Parx, with both wins coming in front-running fashion.

◗ The stakes action at Parx kicks off Saturday with the $100,000 Alphabet Soup Handicap for Pennsylvania-breds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Smart Bid, a multiple graded stakes winner trained by Graham Motion, tops the 12-horse field.

Other contenders include Road Hog and Philly Ace, who finished 1-2 in a Pennsylvania-bred stakes at Penn National on Aug. 3.