Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jack O'Lantern Upsets in Hollywood Prevue, Gives Trainer Richard Matlow his First Graded Stakes Victory

Edited Hollywood Park report
Jack o' Lantern, given a perfect trip by Isaias Enriquez, found room along the rail in the stretch and took charge nearing the sixteenth pole en route to a $41.80 upset in Sunday's $103,700 Hollywood Prevue at Hollywood Park.

Favorite Azul Leon finished a half-length back in second in the Grade III event - a major stepping-stone to the CashCall Futurity here Dec. 20. Ventana and Arashi Cat were another half-length back in a dead heat for third while second choice Backbackbackgone finished fifth and Congor Bay sixth.

The victory was the first in a graded stakes for 66-year-old trainer Richard Matlow, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease earlier this year. He saddled Heptathlon to win the $74,090 Safely Kept here in 1998 and Half Mamoon to win the $175,000 Cal Cup Mile at Santa Anita in 1996.

"I was diagnosed about seven months ago - I was misdiagnosed for about a year," Matlow said. "I've got a bad foot and my hands are not good, but other than that, I'm not bad. I still come to the barn every day. This is probably one of my biggest wins, first graded stakes. I had placed before."

Jack o' Lantern paid $41.80, $12 and $5.80. Azul Leon returned $3.20 and $2.60, while the show payoff on Arashi Cat was $3.


Anonymous said...

I watched the race on TVG...the rail is hitting at 20% or something and JOL had a beautiful trip on the the rail bias still holding in your opinion?

Welcome to the TBA BTW!

Mary Forney's Blog said...

Hi Geno, thanks for the welcome! I enjoy your blog! I hesitate to call it a true rail bias, but the Cushion Track is definitely fast these days. I'm not sure they've really got the mixture and/or the maintenance down yet, because I'm hearing trainers complain about that surface.

Mary Forney's Blog said...

Just an update, Geno. I consulted my friend Brad Free, one of the experts on this, and his response was the the racetrack at HP plays absolutely fair to just about everybody. It seems like the rail is good because it is typically NOT good at Santa Anita. Brad said he is reluctant to suggest that there was a bias on Sunday. In fact, according the Handicapper's Report, there was NO bias that day. As far as HP goes, he thinks you can win from anywhere; at SA that trip might not be as successful. By and large, on Pro-Ride (SA) it's better to come from the outside; at HP you can come from anywhere. Bottom line, Brad wouldn't attribute Jack O'Lantern's win to any so-called "golden rail." Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Thanks...I just remembered seeing in the BRIS PP's that the rail was winning at 20%, but I respect Mr. Free's opinion. Agree about the o/s posts at OSA..check out my post before the BC:

Mary Forney's Blog said...

Wow, very interesting stats, Gene. Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

I just wish we could get our horse to switch leads!

Mark Wayman
The Godfather of Las Vegas, Owner of Backbackbackgone

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