Ribo Bobo dominates Claiming Crown Express

Trainer Jason Servis admitted that he was a little anxious prior to Saturday’s $110,000 Claiming Crown Express despite the fact that he was running the odds-on favorite, Ribo Bobo, in the six-furlong dash at Gulfstream Park.

Original Article from Daily Racing Form

Ribo Bobo, ridden by Paco Lopez, wins the Claiming Crown Express for his 10th victory from 11 starts this year.But Servis had few anxious moments once the gates opened, as Ribo Bobo just toyed with his 11 overmatched rivals en route to a 2 1/2-length victory over the slow-breaking, late-running Never Stop Looking.

Ribo Bobo won his first nine starts of 2013 before finally being defeated just 10 days ago in Penn National’s Fabulous Strike Handicap by the graded stakes winner Ben’s Cat. Claimed on two separate occasions earlier in the year by Servis for the Mr. Amore Stable, Ribo Bobo has steadily improved as the season progressed, punctuating a series of easy victories with a 5 3/4-length triumph in the Maryland Million Sprint Handicap.

With jockey Paco Lopez aboard, Ribo Bobo broke a step slowly Saturday but quickly used his abundant speed to control the pace while racing along the rail. He shook off early pursuers Bear’s Spirit and J B’s Unc approaching the quarter pole, bore out a bit
turning for home, and won as his rider pleased, with Lopez looking around for competition through the stretch while gearing down his mount in the final sixteenth of a mile.

Never Stop Looking stumbled at the break, then steadily worked his way forward to finish second, a half-length in front of J B’s Unc. Ribo Bobo completed the distance in 1:10.02 and paid $3.

“I’ve run a lot of horses in big races, but I was nervous before the race because this horse is pretty special,” Servis said. “But I felt good after he got on the lead. I don’t know why he got out like that into the stretch. He did it in Maryland but not at Penn National. I don’t know if he gets to loafing. Paco said he jumped something, but to me, that’s not a bad thing because it means he’s just playing around.”

Servis said he’ll likely consider the Sunshine Millions Sprint on Jan. 18 for Ribo Bobo’s next start.

Carolina Lizard wins Iron Lady

Carolina Lizard set a contested pace, then dug in gamely to outfinish Courtney Ryan and Daddys Jewel and upset the $110,000 Claiming Crown Iron Lady. Winiliscious, the 4-5 favorite, finished a disappointing sixth after forcing the pace to the stretch.

Carolina Lizard, who won a starter allowance race in similar fashion over Courtney Ryan last month at Calder, paid $71.80. She was ridden by Pedro Monterrey Jr. for trainer Robert Posada.

“My filly was doing great, and I thought she had a good chance today,” Posada said.

Wolfson exacta in Glass Slipper

Trainer Marty Wolfson dominated the $110,000 Claiming Crown Glass Slipper, sending out Centrique to defeat stablemate Lexington Pearl by 1 1/4 lengths, with the rest of the field far behind. The two horses raced uncoupled in the wagering, although both are owned by Miller Racing LLC.

Centrique, a 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, covered seven furlongs in 1:22.21 under jockey Javier Castellano and paid $3.80.

“My fillies are kind of equal, but Centrique is just quicker,” Wolfson said.