Toby's Corner and Royal Currier, both coming off seventh-place finishes in graded stakes last time out, head a field of eight older horses in the $150,000 Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap June 23 at Parx Racing.
The seven-furlong test will be the third start of the season for Toby’s Corner, who upset Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Uncle Mo for trainer Graham Motion in 2011. The son of Bellamy Road was sidelined from running in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands (gr. I) when he came up lame behind, leaving stablemate Animal Kingdom to get the job done.
Since a Feb. 20 return to the races, Dianne and Julian Cotter’s 4-year-old Florida homebred (out of the Mister Frisky mare Brandon's Ride) rounded out the trifecta in back-to-back stakes–the seven furlong General George Handicap (gr. II) and the 1 1/8-mile New Orleans Handicap (gr. II)–but faded to seventh of nine in the 1 3/16th-mile Pimlico Special (gr. III) May 19.
"We're going back to what worked best this year," said Motion, "and that was the General George. It was his best race to date this season. We're still trying to figure out exactly what this horse wants to do, and the General George performance was very promising."
Motion said jockey Jeremy Rose worked Toby's Corner June 16 through a strong six furlongs in 1:13 flat.
"He worked exceptionally well," the trainer reported. "I'd like to get him back to where he was."
Royal Currier, a two-time stakes winner at Parx in the Gallant Bob and Valley Forge Stakes near the end of last year, was a weary seventh of eight in the True North Handicap (gr. II) June 9 at Belmont Park. Prior to that the 4-year-old son of Red Bullet won the $85,000 Diablo Stakes at Belmont May 10 for MAT Stables and trainer Patricia Farro. He carries high weight of 121 in the field as the 3-1 morning line favorite, just one pound less than Toby’s Corner, who comes in at 120 and odds of 4-1.
Local runner Golddigger's Boy, an eight-time winner at Parx, also carries 120 under jockey Stewart Elliott. The 5-year-old son of Jump Start –Golddigger Beware, by Prenup, was bred in Pennsylvania by Frances M. Hartwell and campaigns under the silks of William Hartwell for trainer Ramon Preciado. After winning the Lyman Handicap April 14 at his home track, he last ventured to Monmouth Park to run third in a $52,000 allowance optional claimer going six furlongs June 8.
Fellow Pennsylvania-breds Rod’s Five Star and Sloane Ranger complete the field along with Hobbitontherocks, Ponzi Scheme, and Spin Zone.
$150,000 Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap (Race 9, 3:50 p.m. ET) 3YO&up, seven furlongs
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1.Golddigger’s Boy (PA), S. Elliott, 120, R Preciado
2. Rod’s Five Star (PA), A.S. Arroyo, 117, E Lehman
3. Toby’s Corner (FL), J. Rose, 120, H G Motion
4. Sloane Ranger (PA), F. Pennington, 119, M E Ciresa
5. Hobbitontherocks (NJ), R. Chiappe, 110, M Serey, Jr.
6. Ponzi Scheme (KY), E. Trujillo, 118, J Serey
7. Royal Currier (FL), Rider TBA, 121, P Farro
8. Spin Zone (KY), Rider TBA, 113, J C Servis