Multiple Grade 1 winners Demonstrative and Bob Le Beau return to Parx Racing on Sunday with an opportunity to reprise their victories in last year’s flat races for hurdlers.
As occurred last year, the $25,000 open flat race was heavily oversubscribed and was split into two divisions, with the first assigned 10 starters and 11 candidates in the second division. They were scheduled as the first and third races, with a 12:55 p.m. first post time at the Bensalem, Pa., track.
A 2 1/2-length winner of last year’s Parx flat race, Demonstrative enters Sunday’s race from a fifth-place finish in the Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) on May 14. The Elusive Quality gelding, now 9, was the Eclipse Award winner in 2014 and won the Iroquois in 2013 and last year. Robbie Walsh will ride.
Also in the first division is Around The Ben’s Barnstorming, who is making his first start since finishing third behind Demonstrative in the 2015 Iroquois. Keri Brion will ride for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
Jack Doyle will be aboard The Fields Stable’s Bob Le Beau, who used last year’s three-length Parx win as a springboard to consecutive Grade 1 victories in the New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1) at Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Trained by Elizabeth Voss, Bob Le Beau would be making his first official 2016 start. He finished second in a Fair Hill training flat race on May 28.
The Irish-bred will be coupled in the wagering with The Fields Stable’s Kingdom, who is making his 2016 debut. He won a $25,000 Ratings Handicap at the Colonial Cup in his final start of last season. Gus Dahl will ride for Voss.
Sheppard will saddle Rod Moorhead’s All the Way Jose, the 2014 novice champion who most recently finished fourth in the Valentine Memorial Ratings Handicap at Fair Hill, Md., on May 28. Willie McCarthy has the mount.