05/08/2011 6:32PM

Parx: Two high-percentage outfits clash in allowance sprint feature

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Alyssa Spakowski/EQUI-PHOTO
Evenings End, winning the restricted Bernie Dowd Handicap at Monmouth Park last June, will make his first start of 2011 in Monday's sprint feature at Parx Racing.

The percentages are stacked against horseplayers who insist on trying to beat horses from the potent trainer-owner combinations of Jamie Ness-Midwest Thoroughbreds and Tony Dutrow-Mercedes Stables.

According to DRF’s Formulator, Ness and his main client, Midwest Thoroughbreds, have gone 30 for 72 (42 percent) over the past 30 days.

The stats for Dutrow and Mercedes Stables are even better. In the last three months, the team boasts a 6-for-14 record (43 percent). In 2011 at Parx Racing, the Dutrow-Mercedes combo is 7 for 9.

With numbers like those, no wonder the Dutrow-Mercedes entry of Holyfield (2-1) and the Ness-Midwest horse Ask Joe (3-1) are the two morning-line favorites in Monday’s featured ninth race at Parx, a third-level optional a $40,000 claimer scheduled for six furlongs on the main track.

Ness, who has not run a horse at Parx the past five years, ships in Ask Joe from Florida, where he posted back-to-back victories over second-level optional $62,500 claimers at Gulfstream Park in March and April. The 5-year-old Ask Joe will be returning to the mid-Atlantic region for the first time since he was claimed for $30,000 at Delaware Park last July.

Holyfield saw his three-race winning streak snapped when he was ambitiously spotted in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 14. Prior to that, he posted a career-best 97 Beyer Speed Figure in a third-level allowance and a four-length score in a second-level optional $35,000 claimer, both at Oaklawn Park. In his last appearance before heading south for the winter, Holyfield won a first-level allowance at Parx.

Holyfield is one of three horses in the eight-horse field entered for the optional $40,000 tag on Monday.

The field also includes Evenings End, winner of a New Jersey-bred stakes at Monmouth Park last summer who has been unraced since November; Peter’s Creek, who finished 3 ¼ lengths behind the millionaire sprinter Fabulous Strike last time out; and the former California-based Spirit of Cochise, who makes his first start on dirt after two wins and three seconds in his last five starts on synthetic surfaces, the most recent a win for $40,000 last July 3. Peter’s Creek and Evenings End are the other two horses in field besides Holyfield eligible to be claimed.