Pennsylvania pick of the week: Jingle all the way

November 27th, 2019

The feature event at Parx Racing on Friday, November 29 is not only the finale of the eight-race card. It’s also one of the most intriguing races from a handicapping perspective.

The event is a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race open to a variety of runners, specifically horses age 3 and older, “which have never won a race other than maiden, claiming, starter or state-bred, or which have never won two races.”

These confusing conditions have nevertheless attracted eight starters representing a variety of age groups and profiles. If you want to play lightly raced 3-year-olds, there are a few you can choose from, or you can favor experienced runners with a handful of victories to their credit.

The sophomores #1 Shanghai Superfly and #1A Zoomer, both trained by Marcos Zulueta, are coupled in the wagering and favored at 3-2 on the morning line. Whether both start remains to be seen. Zulueta named jockey Frankie Pennington to ride both, which suggests one might scratch.

Either one will be formidable. Shanghai Superfly won a $40,000 maiden claiming race over this track and distance November 2, one start after he competed against high-class competition in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1). Zoomer is 2-for-2 sprinting at Parx, where he earned a 91 Brisnet speed figure against older rivals in a starter allowance race win November 9.

Zulueta and Pennington have both been winning at better than a 20% clip during the current Parx meet, and together they’ve struck at a 36% rate over the last 60 days. But they’re not a shoo-in to reach the winner’s circle Fridaynot with #5 Bojingle in the field.

Unlike Shanghai Superfly and Zoomer, Bojingle has never competed in claiming races and is relatively untested, with just four starts under his belt. The 3-year-old son of Horse Greeley won a maiden special weight over this track and distance September 22 and most recently employed pace-tracking tactics to finish second in a five-furlong allowance race November 12. The winner of that race, For the Road, came right back to easily win again November 24.

Bojingle’s fine efforts against decent company produced competitive Brisnet speed figures of 90 and 96, which makes him the fastest horse in the field based on recent form. He’ll carry just 117 pounds Friday, three fewer than the favorites, and will have high-percentage jockey Mychel Sanchez in the saddle. If his 3-1 morning line odds hold up, Bojingle is an appealing alternative to the favorites.

Let’s bet Bojingle to win and play him over Shanghai Superfly and Zoomer in the exacta.

$20 to win on #5 Bojingle $10 exacta: 5 with 1

Good luck!