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Monday, February 26, 2024

George Mahoney's Rosbrian Farm has two flat winners at Parx in races for steeplechasers

BENSALEM, Pa--Ricky Hendriks saddled both winners of the two $25,000, 1 1/2 mile flat  races for horses that have won over hurdles, and both are owned by George Mahoney's Rosbrian Farm.

Ricky HendriksRicky Hendriks"It was a fun day," said Hendriks.

Optimus Prime, ridden by Ross Garaghty, won the first of the two races finishing eased in 2:36.48.

The 7-year-old bay gelding settled outside, made a big move after three quarters and won by 3 lengths over Whitman's Poetry, trained by Jack Fisher, with Elucidation third, 1 1/2  lengths further back.

Markhan, also ridden by Geraghty, won the second of the two races, finishing an easy winner in 2:29.61.

The 6-year-old bay gelding settled far back, moved wide into the final turn, moved easily to the front and  won comfortably by 3 1/2 lengths over Gotta  Get Away, trained by Joseph Taylor, with Soluble, trained by Kathy Neilson, another 11/2 lengths back in third.

"Markhan came from Gordon Elliot,"  said Hendriks. "Gordon brought him over from England to race at Nashville, where he won the maiden race.  We brought him home after Nashville, at the end of May,"


"HE'S A VERY easy horse to train,"  said Hendriks. "Ironically, he was born in this country. Gordon bought him out of a sale."

Markhan is by Birdstone out of a Smart  Strike mare, and he was foaled in Kentucky.

He was sold at Keeneland as a yearling for $13,000, sold as a 2-year-old at  Goresbridge Breeze Up Sale in England for $160,892, and was bought by Elliot at Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training sale in 2017 for $19,520.

"Markhan will go to Saratoga for the July 17 allowance race," said Hendriks.  "Hopefully he will develop into a stakes horse."

"Optimus Prime ran a really good race,"said Hendriks.  "He'll go to Saratoga for the A.P. Smithwick.  Swansea Mile will also go to Saratoga  for the Smithwick."

Swansea Mile won the G1 Smithwick in 2017, while Optimus Prime won the G1 N.Y. Turf Writers last year at Saratoga and won the G2 David Semmes Memorial at Great Meadow earlier this  year.

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