By Don Stevens —-
JAMES HODGES TRAINEE ENJOYS THE FIRST STAKES WIN OF HIS CAREER –
VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs closed out its 12th week of racing on Saturday night with an 11-race program that included the $65,000 B-Connected Stakes for Louisiana-breds competing at one mile. The event was won by Phyllis J. Hodges’ Paddy O’Lionel, who rallied from far behind under jockey Gerardo Mora to snare the first stakes win of his career.
After breaking a step slow from the inside post position, Paddy O’Lionel dropped back to last position in the field of nine. Meanwhile the early pace was set by Rocketringo, who carved out fractional times of 22.68 seconds for the quarter-mile, 46.74 for the half, and 1:12.51 for three quarters.
As the field made their way up the backstretch Paddy O’Lionel began to gain momentum and swung wide around the far turn following Social Misfit, who was also rallied from far back. In the home-stretch it was the wagering favorite, Harbor Pilot, who drove to the lead but it was short lived as Social Misfit took over at the sixteenth pole. In the final strides it was a dash to the wire with Paddy O’Lionel putting his nose down and getting the narrowest of victories. Harbor Pilot settled for third another 4-1/4 lengths behind the top pair.
Paddy O’Lionel covered the eight furlongs of the B-Connected in a time of 1:39.98 seconds. The race was contested over a fast track.
Paddy O’Lionel has now won four of 13 career starts. Saturday’s night’s score earned him $39,000 and raised his lifetime bankroll to $131,200.
Bred in Louisiana by Sugarland Thoroughbreds, LLC, Paddy O’Lionel is a chestnut son of Paddy O’Prado, out of the Lucky Lionel mare Dana’s Lucky Lady.
Sent to the gate at odds of 9-2, Paddy O’Lionel returned $11.80 to win, $5.60 to place and $3.20 to show. Social Misfit was worth $6.80 to place and $3.20 to show. Harbor Pilot paid $2.60 to show.
Delta Downs will begin its 13th week of racing on Wednesday night. First post time for the 10-race program is set for 5:40 pm.
For more information about racing at Delta Downs visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracingcom. Fans can also get information about through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.
Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.