Castle Pines and Swiss Exploit take Leg 2 of the Route Claiming Series
Castle Pines went right to the front and stayed there as the 9 year old veteran went wire to wire to score an impressive win in Leg 2 of the Route Claiming Series at Portland Meadows on Monday. Sent off at odds of 3/1, Castle Pines looked like lone speed, and jockey Eliska Kubinova had to work a bit early to get that lead over Ezinnmotion and Meshuguna. But Kubinova was able to get Castle Pines to relax on the far turn as Meshuguna pressed up closer and at one point got to within a length. But as they straightened away, Castle Pines had plenty left and dug in to win going away by three and a quarter lengths over Capella Etoile who won a nose photo over Doctor Pav for second. Meshuguna faded through the lane to finish third. The final time for the mile and one eighth was 1:53.47.
The second division was also won in wire to wire fashion, but this time it was 8/5 favorite Swiss Exploit doing it. Sent to the front by jockey Debbie Hoonan, Swiss Exploit set very sharp fractions. Hoonan was able to get Swiss Exploit a breather for a :25 second third quarter, and when everyone else tried to rally late, Swiss Exploit had just enough left in the tank to score by three quarters of length ahead of General Joe who ran second, with Simperio just a neck behind that one in third. Final time for the one mile and one eighth was 1:53.86.
There was once again some claiming going on in Leg 2, as both Doctor Pav and Capella Etoile were claimed out of the first division. Clockwise Racing and Jonathan Nance are the new connections of Doctor Pav, while owner/trainer Gilbert Daniels claimed Capella Etoile. In the second division, four runners were claimed. The winner Swiss Exploit was claimed by David and Patty Runyon, and will be trained by Dave Runyon. Simperio was claimed back by his previous owners The Kids for trainer Jim Fergason. Taking Liberties was taken in a 3 way shake and went to owners Cold Boy Stables and trainer Nick Lowe. Say Hay or Keith Beatty claimed Turntable Bay, who will also be going to the Nick Lowe barn.
The Finals for the Route Claiming Series will be conducted on Wednesday March 14thwhich is Closing Day at Portland Meadows. The race will feature a $25,000 purse and will be competed at one mile and one quarter.
Point Totals after Leg 2 (Top 12 who competed in both legs can enter the Final)
1. Swiss Exploit, 10 points
2.. Castle Pines, 9 points
3.. Dr. Pav, 8 points
4.. Capella Etoile, 7 points
4. General Joe, 7 points
6.. Carlsbad Lagoon, 5 points**(didn’t run in Leg 2, ineligible for final)
6. Watch Your Money, 5 points
8. Simperio, 4 points
8. Taking Liberties, 4 points
10. West Seattle Boy, 3 points
11. Mamoonya, 2 points**(not entered in Leg 2, ineligible for final)
11. Meshuguna, 2 points
11. Turntable Bay, 2 points
11.. Tribute to Sissy, 2 points
11. Saratoga’s Magic, 2 points**(not entered in Leg 2, ineligible for final)
16. Loose Tappets, 1 point**(didn’t run in Leg 2, ineligible for final)
16. Ezinmotion, 1 point
16. Little Mordi, 1 point
News and Notes….Javier Matias booked a riding triple on the card and continues to lead the riding standings with just seven racing days left……