12/11/2010 2:59PM

Vazquez key to the feature race


Will trainer Juan Vazquez win a race for himself or his primary client? Assuming there are no scratches, that’s the key question for handicappers pondering which horse to play in Tuesday’s featured ninth race at Parx Racing.

Vazquez, coming off a superb season at Delaware Park in which he led the trainer standings with 83 victories, will saddle the uncoupled pair of Bernadette’s Song and Ms Vanenzza in a six-furlong sprint open to third-level allowance runners and $40,000 claimers. Both of Vazquez’s horses look like prime contenders in a field of six chasing a $50,000 purse.

The 3-year-old Bernadette’s Song has proven to be a bargain buy for Vazquez, who claimed her for $10,000 in May at Delaware Park. She has since won 4 of 5 starts, including an emphatic 4 1/2-length score in a second-level allowance at Parx a month ago. She formerly raced for King Star, but Vazquez is now listed as the owner of record.

Vazquez also trains the 3-year-old Ms Vanenzza, winner of the Blue Hen Stakes as a 2-year-old, for his leading client, Florence Patitucci. Together, they accounted for 42 victories during Delaware’s 113-day meet. Ms Vanenzza comes off a half-length victory going a mile and 70 yards in a second-level allowance and now runs for a claiming tag for the first time in her career.

While it may be difficult to separate Vazquez’s pair, they are not the only contenders in Tuesday’s race. Sophia, making her first start since late June, and Beat the Blues, a winner of her last two starts, both at Monmouth Park, have the credentials to win in this spot.

Sophia, from the barn of high-percentage trainer Steve Klesaris, has been off since losing the first race of her four-race career on June 27.She is capable of firing fresh, as evidenced by her career debut victory at Parx, in which she drew off by three lengths in April 2009.

Beat the Blues, a $25,000 claim in July, cleared her first two allowance conditions winning back-to-back starts at Monmouth in October and November.