Pine Dance rallied from next-to-last to win the $300,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) by three lengths while making his dirt track racing debut Monday at Philadelphia Park. The 3-year-old son of Pine Bluff rallied to the lead on the second turn and drew away in the stretch, stopping the timer after 1 1/8 miles run in 1:49.03 on a sloppy track.
"He was taking his time early on, but once he had moved into third I knew he was going to win," said Mark Weld, who saddled the colt for his father, trainer Dermot Weld. "He loves the States so we might as well keep him here."
The winner had to withstand a claim of foul lodged by Rick Wilson, jockey of second place Mass Market, for an incident on the second turn. "The 10 (Pine Dance) came over on the nine (Trajectory), who came over on top of me," said Wilson. "I was clipping heels right and left. I definitively would have won it."
Dismissed at 13-1, Pine Dance paid $28, $10.40, and $7.80. The exacta, returned $246.80. 73-1 longshot Cherokeeinthehills finished third, completing a trifecta worth $7,963.80.
Trajectory, Pickupspeed, Include, Perfect Cat, and Thistyranthasclass completed the order of finish. Both Carney's Prospect and Bare Outline were eased and did not finish. Hal's Hope was scratched due to a hoof abcess he developed after he banged his foot in his stall during a weekend thunderstorm.
Pine Dance finished eighth in his most recent start, the 1 1/4-mile Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT), after winning the American Derby (gr. IIT) by 1 1/2 lengths in his North American racing debut. Pine Dance, bred in Kentucky by Kevin G. Pipes, earned $180,000 for owner George S. Hofmeister with the win, his fourth in nine career starts. Michael McCarthy rode the winner to victory. (Chart, Equibase