Paul Nolan scored a hat trick with wins in the first, second and sixth races on Friday night at the Downs, Adrian Ramos won a pair and Janine Smith booted home Prairie Eclipse in the seventh to cement an excellent Pick-4 payoff.
Nolan had to survive a claim of foul in the second race and it was a close one. His heavily favoured mount Why Cry Cowgirl Up drifted in twice early forcing Lia Rocks and Christopher Husbands to steady. Lia Rocks stayed close to the stretch before fading to finish third. It was a 50/50 call that could have gone either way. Nolan’s number stayed up.
Besides winning five races, Nolan and Ramos gave out free riding lessons to the other jockeys in the first and fifth races, stealing both after setting a slow pace on the lead. Also of note in the fifth race was Whispertomesoftly getting hampered early. She should run better next time with a clean trip.
The Pick-4 kicked off with a longshot overlay in the fourth race when Thee Hemi ($19.30) received a perfect inside trip under Jennifer Reid to win by a length. Ecton’s Gem steadied early in the same race and could run better next time. Longshots continued in the second leg of the Pick-4 when Ramos got the jump on the field out of the gate aboard Exclusive Crown ($17.00) and coaxed a game response from his filly in the stretch to hold on by a neck.
Heading into the third leg of Pick-4 there were very few live tickets but at least some of those tickets survived when Nolan got up to win in the last few jumps aboard favourite Tactical Girl ($7.50).
Janine Smith hasn’t ridden near as many horses as the top jockeys at this meeting, but she certainly seems to make the most of her mounts. Smith won the seventh race and final leg of the Pick-4 with her only mount of the evening, Prairie Eclipse ($9.30), for owner Norman Prokipchuk and trainer Chad Torevell to deliver a $2 Pick-4 that paid $4,150.80.
Smith is winning at an 18% clip and currently has a record 18-19-21 from 94 mounts, good for tenth place in the jockey standings.
Nolan’s Friday hat trick vaulted him into a 6-win lead over Adolfo Morales, who went winless on the evening. The score is now 66-60 for Nolan, with Jennifer Reid in third place with 51 wins. Ramos remained sixth in the standings with his two wins putting him at 34 for the season. A top-5 finish for this newcomer is a definite possibility this year and he’s earned it.
Hoping for another big Pick-4 pool on Saturday!
Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7 p.m. Saturday, September 7, 2013