10/15/2010 9:20PM

Royal Clash pays dividends on $16,000 claim by crushing Nepal opponents

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Royal Clash, making his first start off the claim, romps in the Nepal Stakes under Abel Mariano.

Philadelphia Park-based trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero’s remarkable success with horses he recently claimed continued Friday night when Royal Clash, making his first start off a six-length loss while running for a $16,000 tag, romped to an 8 ¼-length victory in Friday night’s $75,000 Nepal Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds at Penn National Race Course.

A 6-year-old gelding who had lost 11 straight races since taking a nonwinners-of-three lifetime allowance sprint at Penn National in July 2009, Royal Clash ($3.20) got a perfect trip under Abel Mariano, saving ground while sitting just off the pace set by stretch-out sprinter Andrew L. Royal Clash blew past the tiring pacesetter coming into the stretch and drew off while completing 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.22.

Guerrero, who is winning at a remarkable 40 percent from more than 200 starters this year, came into the race winning with 26 of 48 horses first time off the claim the past two seasons (54 percent). It was just the fourth victory in 23 lifetime starts for Royal Clash and his first in six tries around two turns.

The 3-year-old Andrew L., making his first start against winners and just his third start lifetime, held second by 1 ¼ lengths over the 26-1 longshot Count the Gold.

Neeyo, the morning-line favorite, was scratched in favor of a second-level allowance race on Monday at his home track, Parx Racing.

Coastal Solace prevails by a neck

Coastal Solace ($3.20) overtook Speechifying with about a sixteenth of a mile remaining and held on for a neck victory in the $75,000 Ligature Stakes for statebred fillies and mares.

It was the third lifetime stakes victory for the 5-year-old Coastal Solace, ridden by Anna Napravnik for trainer Steve Klesaris. She finished second in last year’s Ligature.

Speechifying, a 7-year-old mare making her first start off a $16,000 claim by trainer Murray Rojas, was 3 ¼ lengths clear of third-place finisher Patton’s Passion.

In winning for the eighth time in 23 starts but the first time in 13 months, Coastal Solace covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.31.