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Pedrolino Stomps Foes in Iron Horse

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI
John Wade’s Pedrolino and jockey Robby Albarado ran away with the first race of the 13th annual Claiming Crown, the $50,000 Iron Horse at 1 1/16 miles, at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The 5-year-old gelding, trained by Doug Matthews, had been racing on synthetic surfaces in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Illinois, most recently finishing third in a $50,000 claiming route at Keeneland.


Albardo waited patiently behind the pace setters in the early stages before asking for run on the far turn. Pedrolino drew off in the stretch to win by 7 ¾ lengths in 1:45.13, providing Matthews and owner John Wade with their first Claiming Crown victory.


“I’ve been running horses in the Claiming Crown for three or four years but this is the first win,” Matthews said. “It feels good.”


Matthews instructed Albarado to get the headstrong horse as relaxed as possible.


“Doug said to keep him quiet but at the same time keep him forward and it worked out well,” Albarado said.


Pedrolino returned $7, $4 and $3. Mystery Street Stables LLC’s Severe Weather closed well to finish second, paying $$4.20 and $3.40, five lengths ahead of Tri-Star Racing LLC’s Built to Precision, who set the early pace through fractions of 23.82 and 47.39 and returned $3.20 to show. Favored Majhood never threatened and finished fifth in the field of seven.


Atthebuzzer Surprises in CC Express

Jackie Thacker’s Atthebuzzer, overlooked in the wagering for Saturday’s $50,000 Claiming Crown Express, answered the challenge when asked by apprentice jockey C. J. McMahon and drew clear late to tally by a length and a half in the six-furlong dash.


“I guess he didn’t know he was supposed to win,” said owner-trainer Thacker, after Atthebuzzer lit up the tote-board with boxcar mutuels of $95.40, $34.80 and $13.20. 


“He left good, I kept him in good position and then he finished up real well for me,” said the 17-year-old reinsman who was capturing his first stakes win at Fair Grounds.


Always well placed, the Arkansas-bred Atthebuzzer, trained by owner Jackie Thacker, gained the advantage in mid-stretch and proved clearly best at the wire, accomplishing the three-quarters in 1:10.28, while increasing his career earnings to $125,887 with his 11th win in 39 lifetime starts. 


John Cammeyer and Dermot Murphy’s Bombast, who made the pace with splits of 21.91 and 45.41, held down the second spot at the wire, paying $5 and $4 while finishing three-quarters of a length to the good of Billy, Donna and Justin Hays’ Plasma Beam, who returned $5.40 to show.


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