Young Jamaican jockey Chavion Chow booted home four longshot winners on Saturday night at the Downs to force a Pick-4 carryover of $5,184 carryover and Paul Nolan won four races the night before to take back the lead in the rider standings. Friday and Saturday night couldn’t have been any more different.
On Friday night favourites ruled and six of the eight races were won by the top three riders in the room. Paul Nolan won four, Jennifer Reid won two and Rohan Singh took another. The only oddity on Friday night came from Gunton Road, who accelerated dramatically under jockey Jerry Pruitt passing the eighth pole and drew off to win the fifth race by 3 ½-lengths. He paid $17.80, as compared to the remainder of the paltry win prices on the card: $4.00, $3.90, $2.80, $5.10, $7.80, $3.50, $7.00 and $4.10. Saturday night however, turned out to be longshot heaven.
Three of Chow’s Saturday night winners came in the Pick-4, and they also topped some of the best Superfecta payoffs of the year, but he kicked off the night with a win in the second race aboard David Gourneau’s Chippewa’s Gal for trainer Jerry Gourneau. Chippewa’s Gal was getting blinkers on and paid $20.40. The $2 Superfecta paid $2,707.20.
Chow’s next winner came in the first leg of the Pick-4, the fourth race, aboard Emerald’s Diamond for owner-trainer Wendell Matt. The angle? She was proven in open company while her six rivals were exiting condition races. Emerald’s Diamond paid $23.00 and the $2 Superfecta paid $1,752.00.
Chow continued aboard the longshot train in the fifth race when he got Toccer up late for owner Tracy Sabanski and trainer Carl Anderson. Toccer paid $35.40 and topped a $2 Superfecta of $3,081.90. Orville Got Even, the heavy favourite in the fifth race, and in the Pick-4s that were still alive, ran a valiant race but just couldn’t hold on late after being hounded throughout. The same couldn’t be said for the favourite in the next leg of the Pick-4.
Mr Exspeedient reared at the break in the sixth race, knocked jockey Paul Nolan in the nose, and failed to come out of the gate. That left the race wide open and jockey Jennifer Reid took advantage of the missing speed to force the pace and prevail by a head aboard Military Deputy for underrated trainer Jim Smith and his ownership partner Erna Bigham. Military Deputy paid $40.20 and triggered a monster $2 Superfecta payoff off $11,600.30.
Surprisingly, there were still a few live tickets going into the seventh race and final leg of the Pick-4, but Chow ended all hopes this time when he scored by a length aboard Rosemarie Pollock’s Hot Off the Bench for trainer Shelley Brown and paid $14.60. Once again the Superfecta paid big at $1,601.80. More importantly for the majority of Pick-4 players, $5,184 was carried over to the next card of live racing on Wednesday, Sept. 12, when the pool could grow to $15,000 or more.
Paul Nolan won the final race on Saturday night aboard Queen of Tahoe for Fast N Furious Racing Stable and trainer Emile Corbel, and while she only paid $8.60, she closed out a $2 Pick-3 that paid $1,412.30. Queen of Tahoe also put Nolan squarely back on top in the rider standings with 67 wins, three more than Rohan Singh and four more than Jennifer Reid. The battle for the riding title should go right down to the final day, especially if guys like Chow keep throwing a wrench into the proceedings.
The longshot players say thanks.