After a poor performance in his first graded stakes try in the Travers Stakes (gr. I), late-developing 3-year-old Connect bounced back with a narrow win over Gun Runner in the $1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) Sept. 24 at Parx Racing.
- Stakes Calendar
The champion filly toyed with fellow grade I winners Carina Mia and Cathryn Sophia Sept. 24 at Parx Racing, then built her win streak to 11 with a clear victory under a hand ride from Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.
After twice settling for minor placings in graded stakes, Noholdingback Bear would not be denied in the $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes (gr. III) as he rallied four wide in the stretch to secure his first graded stakes victory.
After six previous meetings that include one-two finishes in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Nyquist and Exaggerator go toe to toe for Round 7 in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II).
Analysis of the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) and Cotillion (gr. I) card.
Part of what Servis is counting on headed into in the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) is the fact Songbird has yet to hook a rival who offers what his Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I)-winning charge, Cathryn Sophia, brings to the table.
Coming off decent efforts at Saratoga, Noholdingback Bear and Mind Your Biscuits will tangle with the improving Threefiveindia and undefeated Klingon Warrior in Parx sprint at six furlongs
Rick Porter, who enjoys bringing special guests to the races, will host the family of singer/guitarist Eva Cassidy at Parx Racing Sept. 24 after he named his filly Songbird to honor the late Cassidy's rendition of the tune
In most of Nyquist’s 10 starts, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner has led or raced closed to the leaders early, but trainer Doug O’Neill doesn’t believe last year’s champion juvenile male needs to be close early.
The timing of a low-grade fever in the spring could not have been worse for Songbird, but with deft handling the undefeated champion juvenile filly of 2015 continued to deliver spectacular races through the summer.
The stage was set for the biggest day of the year at Parx Racing when entries were taken and post positions drawn Sept. 19 for the Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) and Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), which anchor a five stakes program Sept. 24.
- By Myra Lewyn
- Thoroughbred Racing, Breeders' Cup, Northeast Region, West Region, Mid-Atlantic Region
Fox Hill Farms' undefeated Songbird logged her final serious work at Santa Anita Park Sept. 18 before her Sept. 19 flight east, where she is scheduled to start in the Sept. 24 Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) at Parx Racing.
Cash Is King's Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Cathryn Sophia continued preparations for Parx Racing's $1 million Cotillion (gr. I) Sept. 14 with a half-mile breeze over the Bensalem, Pa. oval.
Sails through pre-Cotillion move Sept. 12
After the worst start of his career in the William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) July 31 at Monmouth Park, Awesome Slew bounced back with the top race of his young career in the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (gr. III).
Lady Shipman ran true to her 3-10 backing in Parx Racing's $200,000 Turf Amazon Stakes, winning the five-furlong turf sprint by a length in :58.06.
Cathryn Sophia went off favored at 1-9 in a field of six for the Princess of Sylmar, and turned in a text-book run, with jockey Paco Lopez perched motionless in the saddle en route to a 6 1/2-length victory.
Fox Hill Farms' undefeated champion Songbird, now settled back in at her home base in Southern California following a pair of grade I wins at Saratoga Race Course, put in her first workout Aug. 31 in preparation for the $1 million Cotillion (gr. I).
Six stakes and total purses of $845,000 for 11 races will be offered Sept. 3 when Parx Racing returns from a more than three-week break with a program for mostly Pennsylvania-bred runners.
An attorney for embattled trainer Ramon Preciado believes the arrest of one of the trainer's former grooms, Marian Vega, lends credence to Preciado's contention that his six clenbuterol positives this year were the result of sabotage.