Monday racing at Mahoning Valley Racecourse features the marquee stakes race of the Mahoning meet – the $250,000 Steel Valley Sprint for three-year-olds going seven furlongs. Horseplayers will certainly have many options to choose from in the Steel Valley Sprint as it drew a full gate of fourteen sophomore sprinters with Trigger Warning installed as the lukewarm 4-to-1 morning line choice.
Trained by Michael Rone for Brinley Enterprises, Trigger Warning will be making his first start outside of Grade 1 company since his runner up effort in the Indiana Derby (G3) behind Axelrod in July. Winless since a score in the $100,000 Tom Ridge at Presque Isle earlier this year, the colt by Candy Ride has knocked heads with some of the division's heaviest hitters in the likes of Catholic Boy and McKinzie in the Travers (G1) and Pennsylvania Derby (G1) respectively and most recently City of Light in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Despite not being up to that level of competition, his trainer is confident Trigger Warning will show up at Mahoning come Monday.
“He always tries hard and I expect another top effort,” said Rone.
Trigger Warning breaks from post 6 under jockey Irwin Rosendo.
While the morning line favorite may have gone up against the biggest names in the division, the biggest win this year posted by any of the Steel Valley Sprint contenders belongs to Still Having Fun who took the Woody Stephens (G2) on Belmont Stakes day over Engage and Promises Fulfilled at odds of 13-to-1.
Winless since that triumph at Belmont, the Tim Keefe trained Still Having Fun was most recently seen checking in fourth behind the comebacking Audible in the Cherokee Run at Churchill Downs on the Breeders' Cup undercard.
The 9-to-2 second choice leaves from post 10 with Victor Carrasco in the irons.
Other stakes winners in the field include Long Branch victor Navy Commander and Wyatt's Town who ships down from Woodbine on a four race winning streak.
The Steel Valley Sprint is scheduled as the seventh race on Monday's card with post time slated for 3:08 P.M.
The supporting stakes race on the card – the $75,000 Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Distaff – drew a field of nine fillies and mares for the six furlong event with the well-traveled, multiple stakes winning mare Lake Ponchatrain installed as the 5-to-2 morning line favorite.
The Charles Town based Lake Ponchatrain has made the rounds in 2018, making eleven starts at six different tracks in her six-year-old season, which got underway in March with a 5 1/2 length win at Mahoning Valley in an allowance race going the same six furlong distance she'll encounter on Monday. The Ernest Haynes trainee most recently finished fourth as the odds on favorite in Remington Park's Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint.
While Lake Ponchatrain may be the morning line favorite, she figures to vie for favoritism in the Distaff Sprint with Puntsville and recent Keeneland allowance winner Annathela. Trained by Michael Boyce, Puntsville is herself a multiple stakes winner having taken the restricted Isaac Murphy Stakes at Arlington Park in both 2016 and 2018.
Post time for the Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Distaff is scheduled for 2:12 P.M.
$250,000 STEEL VALLEY SPRINT
November 19, 2018
Race 7 – Post Time 3:08 P.M.
3YO, 6 Furlongs
1. Cowboy Creed, Channing Hill, 117, Nevada Litfin
2. Smokin Nitro, Angel Suarez, 119, Jamie Ness
3. Machismo, Luis H. Colon, 117, Gary L. Johnson
4. Midwest Justice, Joe Bravo, 1178, John Alexander Ortiz
5. Wyatt's Town, Eurico Da Silva, 124, Norman McKnight
6. Trigger Warning, Irwin J. Rosendo, 124, Michael L. Rone
7. Bobby's Wicked One, Tyler Gaffalione, 117, Albert M. Stall, Jr.
8. Welles Crowther, Sonny Leon, 117, Laura Wholers
9. K Choice, Albin Jimenez, 117, Ben Colebrook
10. Still Having Fun, Victor R. Carrasco, 124, Timothy L. Keefe
11. Mr Ashley, Luis A. Gonzalez, 117, Adolfo Macias
12. Honorable Treasure, Brian Hernandez Jr., 119, Kenneth G. McPeek
13. Smart Remark, Jose Lezcano, 119, Victoria H. Oliver
14. Navy Commander, Frankie Pennington, 124, Robert E. Reid, Jr.
$75,000 HOLLYWOOD GAMING MAHONING DISTAFF
November 19, 2018
Race 5 – Post Time 2:12 P.M.
F&M 3&up, 6 Furlongs
1. Lake Ponchatrain, Luis A. Batista, 125, Ernest M. Haynes
2. Peyton's Pass, T. D. Houghton, 118, Robert M. Gorham
3. Primo Extremo, Walter De La Cruz, 118, Jason DaCosta
4. Annathela, Brian Hernandez Jr., 120, George R. Arnold, II
5. Seeknthegiantpearl, Erik Barbaran, 118, Ricardo Bailey
6. Country Chick, Carlos Esquillin, 118, Floyd L. Cobb
7. Tiffany Case, Edgar Paucar, 118, Eric R. Reed
8. Inspeightofyou, Santo Sanjur, 122, D. Kelly Ackerman
9. Puntsville, Carlos H. Marquez Jr., 125, Michael Boyce
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