07/23/2011 3:13PM

Parx: Top pair look ready for best efforts


Sloane Ranger and Blue Notion, both repeating patterns that produced good performances earlier this season, will break from adjoining stalls as they attempt to clear their second allowance condition in Tuesday’s featured ninth race at Parx Racing.

The six-furflong sprint, which carries a purse of $48,000, attracted a field of nine, including a trio of 3-year-olds challenging older horses.

The 4-year-old Sloane Ranger, trained by Martin Ciresa, has not been worse than third in his last six starts, dating back to January. He shortens to a sprint after finishing second in the restricted $75,000 Docent going 1 1/16 miles at Penn National and third, beaten just 1 3/4 lengths, going a mile at Parx in late June. The last time Sloane Ranger cut back from a third-place finish going a mile to a sprint, he missed by a neck in a second-level allowance.

The 4-year-old Blue Notion, who will line up just outside Sloane Ranger in post 9, dominated first-level allowance foes at Penn National, drawing off to win by eight lengths with a career-best 94 Beyer Speed Figure in mid-May. On the basis of that performance, he was sent off as the 9-5 favorite in a field of seven in a second-level optional $25,000 claimer at Monmouth Park. Blue Notion lost all chance when he stumbled badly coming out of the gate and finished last. Given five weeks to recover from that incident, Blue Notion should run better. The last two times he returned from a brief layoff, Blue Notion won, beating statebred allowance company and then open first-level allowance foes.

The concerns are that Blue Notion is 0 for 4 at his home track, Parx, and did not beat a very good group in his big win at Penn National. Those horses went a collective 0 for 9 in their next starts, with the best performance a weak 68 Beyer for a runner-up finish in a $5,000 claiming race.

◗ In the other allowance on Tuesday’s card, a first-level turf sprint at five furlongs (race 8), Hot Pursuit ships in from Kentucky after winning his maiden in his grass debut at Churchill Downs and finishing second, beaten a length, in his first try in a first-level allowance at Indiana Downs. His chief challenger looks like Kingdom of Days, who adds blinkers after finishing third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in his turf debut in a $16,000 claimer.