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Most Valuable Pony (Nov. 9-15): Welder

by Jeremy Plonk

November 16, 2020

Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.

October Nov. 9-15, 2020

MVP: Welder

Owner: Ra-Max Farms LLC (Clayton Rash)

Trainer: Teri Luneack

Jockey: David Cabrera

Performance: The 7-year-old Oklahoma-bred sprint legend romped to the Nov. 13 $70,000 Silver Goblin Stakes title by 5-1/2 lengths. Welder was never in doubt with a first-over press while covering 6-1/2 furlongs in 1:15.49. The victory in the Silver Goblin gave Welder 11 career Remington Park stakes victories, most in the track’s history. He’s now 5: 4-1-0 on the 2020 campaign and has won 25 of 37 lifetime starts for $1,179,018.

On Tap: An 8-year-old season is in the plans with stops at Oaklawn and/or Will Rogers Downs. Oaklawn’s King Cotton on February 8 could be his 2021 return. The Will Rogers stakes schedule in April, featuring the Highland Ice and the TRAO Classic Sprint have been customary circles on the calendar. A showdown with fellow, current 7-year-old and Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Whitmore would make for a fun match-up at OP. Whitmore beat Welder by 2 lengths in the March 2019 Hot Springs.

Honorable Mentions: Rising star 2-year-old filly Astute blew them away by more than 7 lengths in Del Mar’s Nov. 14 Desi Arnaz Stakes. The Richard Mandella trainee could appear next in the Grade 2 Starlet at Los Al. Shea D Summer also dazzled the juvenile fillies ranks with a similar romp in Gulfstream Park West’s Nov. 14 Sunshine Millions Juvenile Fillies Sprint Preview. Finally, after moving too soon into a fast pace in the Valley View at Keeneland, Princess Grace timed things in sync to win Churchill’s Nov. 14 off-the-turf Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes.