Page McKenney Wins Again, Takes $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson

Page McKenney Wins Again, Takes $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson

Eddy Gourmet Wins Conniver Easy

LAUREL, MD– The remarkable career of Page McKenney continued Saturday afternoon at Laurel Park.

The 5-year-old gelding, making his second start of the year and first since Feb. 14 when winning the John B. Campbell, drew away from four others down the stretch to splish-splash his way to a four length victory in the $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial.

A winner of 10 of 19 starts since being claimed by trainer Mary Eppler from a sixth-place finish in July of 2013, Page McKennney covered a muddy 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.88. It was the gelding’s ninth win in his last 14 starts and he has now finished first, second or third in his last 13 starts.

“He is just a cool, cool horse,” Eppler said. “He has so much class. It is so easy to be around him, and he is always so happy. You should have seen him in the barn area this morning. He was bucking and squealing. Like, ‘I feel so happy.’ “

Breaking along the rail under jockey Horacio Karamanos, Page McKenney was rated off the pace set by Going to Market and Souper Lucky before swinging four-wide around the turn and then driving off from his opponents entering the stretch.

“This is a nice horse to ride,” Karamanos said. “He showed some speed out of the gate, so I let him go. But some other horses were coming with pressure, so I decided to take back a bit and wait. I waited, and waited, and waited…at the 5/16th pole it was time to go. He started moving a bit and came really well off the turn.”

Eppler said the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) Friday, May 15 could be Page McKenney’s next start.

“He loved Pimlico when we ran him there last year,” she said.

Eddy Gourmet Takes $100,000 Conniver

Trainer Hugh McMahon called Eddy Gourmet’s 7 ¾-length victory in the $100,000 Conniver a “pleasant surprise.” Toby Roth’s 5-year-old mare, equipped with blinkers for the first time, overtook pacesetter Turf Craze entering the stretch and drew off to victory under jockey Sheldon Russll, covering the seven furlongs in 1:23.50.

“She has always been very forward and easy to train,” McMahon said. “She loves to train, but today was a surprise. We put the blinkers on, and she became a different filly.”

Eddy Gourmet, a daughter of Eddington, won for the fifth time in 24 starts.