12/23/2010 2:05PM

Vazquez pair hard to separate at Parx


Unfortunately for bettors, there’s no post-Christmas 2-for-1 bargain available in Monday’s featured ninth race at Parx Racing.

Juan 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 6 1/2-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 seven chasing a $50,000 purse.

The 3-year-old Bernadette’s Song has proven to be a great pick-up for Vazquez, who claimed her for $10,000 in May at Delaware. She has since won 4 of 5 starts, including an emphatic 4 1/2-length score in a second-level allowance at Parx six weeks 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 Monday’s race. Sophia, making her first start since late June, and Snap Happy, a winner in her first start for new connections after arriving from Kentucky, 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. The only 4-year-old in Monday’s field, Sophia is capable of firing fresh, as evidenced by her debut victory at Parx, in which she drew off by three lengths in April 2009.

Snap Happy, formerly with Dallas Stewart, earned a career-best 84 Beyer Speed Figure winning a second-level optional $25,000 claimer at Laurel Park on Dec. 3 while making her first start for trainer Chris Grove.

The Penn National-based Hygh Jacque and Honor Hymn are each also coming off a last-out victory. Hygh Jacque will be looking for her third win in a row. Honor Hymn has been worse than second only once in four previous starts at Parx.

Weeper, beaten less than two lengths after setting the pace at this same level last time out, completes the field.