The list of trainers who would rather their horses didn’t draw the No. 1 post is quite long, but Carol Cedeno proved last evening their fears are unfounded if their riders know how to make the best of it.
Aboard the 3-year-old gelding Neigh Dude in an $18,000 starter optional claimer at Penn National, Cedeno shot the son of First Dude out of the gate from the rail to engage Always Drinking in a :22.51 first quarter. Along the backstretch, Cedeno allowed the 7/2 shot to take over by himself, with Neigh Dude about 1 1/2 lengths back. She patiently kept Neigh Dude within striking distance on the turn, and when the pacesetter drifted off the inside as they entered the stretch, Cedeno sent her gelding through the opening and he went on to score by nearly two lengths in 1:11.94 for the six furlongs.
It was the second victory in a row for Neigh Dude, who had won his previous start at Laurel Park by 3 1/4, the reason for his $4.40 payoff last night. He collected $10,800 and is 2-0-1 in five starts with earnings of $32,610.
Cedeno showed the rail-haters that as long as it’s possible, the shortest route around an oval is to never leave the inside.