Jonathan Nance and Debbie Hoonan dominate Leg 1 of the Route Claiming Series
Trainer Jonathan Nance and jockey Debbie Hoonan enjoyed some great success this afternoon in the three divisions of Leg 1 of the Route Claiming Series, winning two of the races and finishing second in the other division. Nance sent out Swiss Exploit in Race 7 which was the first of the three divisions of Leg 1, and Swiss Exploit went wire to wire for an impressive two and three quarter length victory. Sent to the lead by jockey Debbie Hoonan, Swiss Exploit opened up a five length lead midway down the backstretch all while setting good fractions. Taking Liberties took a run at Swiss Exploit at the quarter pole, but Swiss Exploit turned that one away and never looked back, scoring a slight upset at 7/2. The lone runner claimed out of the first division was another Jonathan Nance runner, Shadarockem, who finished last and was eased. Taking Liberties finished up second while West Seattle Boy rallied to get third.
Nance came right back in the second division to score with Carlsbad Lagoon who was last early on and made a long sustained rally under Debbie Hoonan to blow past early pace-setter Castle Pines in the stretch and win by five lengths. Castle Pines held on for second while Capella Etoile finished third. Carlsbad Lagoon was claimed in a 4 way shake and goes to owner Jeff Wilson for trainer Guru Dharma Khalsa. Turntable Bay who finished sixth as the favorite was claimed and goes to new owner Charles Allen for trainer Chris Sutton in an 11 way shake.
Doctor Pav and Joe Crispin scored in the third and final division, with a decisive move at the 3/8ths pole and opened up late to win by three and three quarter lengths in the end. Watch Your Money closed up for the Hoonan/Nance team and ran second while General Joe at 61 to 1 ran third, with 53 to1 Saratoga’s Magic finishing fourth, rounding out a Superfecta that paid $726.19 for a dime wager. Doctor Pav was trained by Rigoberto Velasquez.
The Route Claiming Series will continue with Leg 2 on Monday February 20th. Leg 2 will be run at a mile and one eighth and will feature a $4,000 claiming tag. Horses will accrue points in both Leg 1 and Leg 2, with the top 12 point earners getting a birth in the $25,000 final on closing day, March 14th.
Point Standings after Leg 1:
1. Swiss Exploit, 5 points
1. Carlsbad Lagoon, 5 points
1. Dr. Pav, 5 points
4. Taking Liberties, 4 points
4. Castle Pines, 4 points
4. Watch Your Money, 4 points
7. West Seattle Boy, 3 points
7. Capella Etoile, 3 points
7. General Joe, 3 points
10. Mamoonya, 2 points
10. Tribute to Sissy, 2 points
10. Saratoga’s Magic, 2 points
13. Loose Tappets, 1 point
13. Ezinmotion, 1 point
13. Simperio, 1 point
Race # Horse Name # of claims entered New Owner/Trainer
7 Shadarockem 1 Patti Harris/John Harris
8 Carlsbad Lagoon 4 Jeff Wilson/G.D. Khalsa
8 Turntable Bay 11 Charles Allen/Chris Sutton
9 Meshuguna 12 Patti Harris/John Harris
9 Simperio 2 Michael Pollowitz/G. Khalsa
9. Watch Your Money 3 Keith Beatty/Nick Lowe
News and Notes…..Debbie Hoonan picked up four winners on the Wednesday card, three of them for trainer Jonathan Nance……Eliska Kubinova picked up three winners on the program.