Huge Payoffs Highlight Mountaineer Finale
Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort closed out its 2013 racing season with some substantial mutuel payoffs on Sunday. The sixth race, a five-furlong event for $5,000 claimers, was won by Stormy Dude, who as the longest shot in the field of ten returned $130.20, $35 and $13 across the board.
Stormy Dude poked his head in front of the 12 shot Tommy's Boy in the final two strides, and became the 11th horse during Mountaineer's 210-day season to return more than $100 to win. The two-dollar perfecta payoff of $1,852.80 was a Mountaineer high for the year.
Lucrative returns were also in evidence regarding the first race of the evening, when another $5,000 claimer, Raka, returned $27.20 to win and was on the front end of a $467 perfecta payoff; and in the fifth race, when still another $5,000 claimer, Perfect Angel, led wire-to-wire for an eighth-length score and a $36.60 win mutuel.
Mountaineer races totaled 1,952 this year, and while 38.6% of them were won by post-time favorites, the average win mutuel was a generous $11.81. Sunday's card was only the second one this year at Mountaineer (the other was on March 26) when no post-time favorites were victorious.
The average two-dollar perfecta payoff at Mountaineer this year was $77.68, which is unusually high for a track that conducts ten months of live racing. The track ran races at 14 distances on its main oval, ranging from 4 ½ furlongs to 2 1/8 miles; and at seven distances on its turf course, ranging from 4 ½ furlongs to 1 3/8 miles.
Deshawn L. Parker registered a single victory on Sunday. It brought his Mountaineer total for the year to 208, as he earned his sixth consecutive riding championship at the Hancock County track. Parker's career victory total at Mountaineer now stands at 4,231, the most by any jockey in the track's history (including its tenure as Waterford Park).
Parker will turn 43 years old on January 8. He's relocating this winter to Sam Houston Race Park, which is about 15 minutes from downtown Houston, Texas. “We'll be there for the whole meet,” said Billy Johnson, Parker's agent. “It starts on January 17, and ends on March 11. Then we'll head back to Mountaineer.”
Johnson also handles the book for Christian P. Pilares, who finished second in this year's Mountaineer rider standings with 183 wins. “Christian's taking most of the winter off,” Johnson said. “It's the first time he's done something like that in about five years.”
The 2013 trainer standings at Mountaineer was led by Bart Baird, who registered 47 wins. He was followed in the standings by Jeffrey A. Radosevich, whose victories numbered 39.
Wagering from all sources on live Mountaineer races totaled $247.96 million, up 3.2% from last year. The purse distribution totaled $26.47 million, from which 92.4 went to overnight races. The purse distribution for stakes was $2,015,000.
Mountaineer's 2014 live season, which again will encompass 210 days of racing, commences on Saturday, March 1.