Donna T. Rogers’ Dapper Dan went to the front at the break, jumped well on an uncontested lead, and came home to a two-length victory in Parx Racing’s featured steeplechase race, a $30,000 handicap hurdle, on Tuesday.
The score gave jockey Darren Nagle and trainer Neil Morris back-to-back wins at the suburban Philadelphia track after PathFinder Racing’s Mutasaawy easily won the second division of a $25,000 maiden hurdle.
Nagle said going to the front was one of several options for Dapper Dan, a five-year-old Pleasantly Perfect gelding who won his maiden victory on the lead at the Virginia Gold Cup on May 6. Nagle, who rode Virginia-bred Dapper Dan in his maiden win, seized the pacesetter option when no one went with him to the first fence and opened daylight on his opponents.
With Dapper Dan jumping well, Nagle kept him comfortably in front and opened up through the stretch for a relatively easy victory in 3:35.91 for 2 1/16 miles on firm turf. He went off at 3.30-to-1 and paid $8.60 to win.
Robert A. Kinsley’s favored Al made a solid late run under Jack Doyle to be second, and Gil Johnston’s Fantastic Song finished third in a field of 12. Beverly R. Steinman’s Reporter finished fourth.
Bishop’s Castle unseated Willie McCarthy at the second fence and stepped on the rider as he recovered from the stumble. McCarthy was taken to a nearby hospital with a shoulder laceration.
Mutasaawy blazed the path to the winner’s circle in the second division of a $25,000 maiden hurdle after taking the lead before the final fence and drawing clear to an easy 7 1/4-length victory.
Trained in Virginia by Morris, the seven-year-old Tapit gelding went off as the 9-to-5 favorite and paid $5.60 to win. Woodslane Farm’s Other Cheek closed ground late to finish second, and Sharon Sheppard’s Moorland took third.
Shannon Hill Farm’s Show King broke on top under Brendan Crowley and led to the last fence in company with Turf Stable Racing’s Lawn Ranger.
Mutasaawy split horses over the last and steadily drew clear from the field after entering Parx’s stretch. He ran the 2 1/16 miles in 3:38.25. The Parx race was Mutassawy’s second venture over fences, after a second at Fair Hill on May 27, following a successful flat career.
In the first division of the $25,000 maiden hurdle, Kinross Farm’s Mutin went to the lead immediately under Ross Geraghty, jumped big over the Parx turf course, and easily held off Buck Benny for a 2 1/4-length victory.
Trained by Richard Valentine, French-bred Mutin went off as the 7-to-2 second betting choice and paid $9 to win.
The seven-year-old notched his initial victory over fences in his fourth try. He previously had finished third in a $25,000 maiden hurdle at the Fair Hill Races. Michael and Reiko Baum’s Buck Benny, ridden by Bernie Dalton, moved into striking distance after the last fence on Parx’s backstretch and launched a strong challenge.
But Geraghty kept Mutin under pressure through the stretch, and they came home to a clear-cut victory. KMSN Jump to Juneau was fourth.