Dynever, Toccet Square Off in Penn Derby

(from track report)
Catherine Wills & Peter Karches' Dynever drew post position seven in a field of ten and was installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite for Monday's running of the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) at Philadelphia Park.

The field contains four graded winners, including multiple grade I winner Toccet, and an unbeaten colt that has shown tremendous ability in his brief career.

Unraced at 2, Dynever, trained by Christophe Clement, did not take long this spring to stamp himself a top-notch 3-year-old. After running second at 22-1 following a bad start in his career debut at Gulfstream Feb. 8, the Dynaformer colt came back to break his maiden by better than eight lengths in his first try at two turns.

He has continued to progress in each start since. He went on to easily win his first stakes race in only his third career start, coming from off the pace to win the Aventura at Gulfstream April 5. His first graded appearance came at Lone Star Park in the Lone Star Derby (gr. III). Appearing hopelessly blocked behind a wall of horse all the way to the eighth pole, Dynever suddenly found room between rivals and shot through to win with an eye-catching turn of foot.

While the 1 1/2-mile Belmont (gr. I) was probably too much for the colt so soon, he would nonetheless finish fourth behind the likes of Empire Maker, Ten Most Wanted and Funny Cide. After a two-month rest, he came back to the races Aug. 9 in the West Virginia Derby (gr. III) and ran brilliantly only to get beat a neck by the impressive Soto. His time that day was good enough to break the existing track record. Edgar Prado will come down for the ride.

Opening as the 5-2 second choice is multiple grade I winner Toccet. Racing for Daniel Borislow and trained by John Scanlan, the Awesome Again colt stamped himself last year as a major player in the spring classics only to be sidelined until this month with bone remodeling in three of his ankles.

At 2, Toccet won the Champagne and the Hollywood Futurity (both gr. I), the Remsen (gr. II), and the Laurel Futurity (gr. III), finishing his freshman season with wins in six of eight starts with earnings better than $755,000. Sidelined since Dec. 21, he returned Aug. 19, making his 3-year-old debut at Philadelphia Park by winning the Widener Stakes over a game Ashmore. His regular rider Jorge Chavez is scheduled to ride.

Getting plenty of respect in the morning line as 5-1 third choice is Kiaran McLaughlin's colt, Tafaseel. The son of Belong To Me ran once at 2, finishing third in a special weight at Saratoga before departing for Dubai to begin his 3-year-old campaign. He returned to the U.S. to break his maiden by trouncing older horses at Belmont June 6 and is coming off a respectable fourth behind Strong Hope and Empire Maker in the Jim Dandy (gr. II) Aug. 3 at the Spa. Racing in the colors of the Shadwell Stable, Tafaseel has only two career wins in seven starts but has shown the ability to be right there with the best of his division. Richard Migliore will be in for the ride.

Among the others of interest include Bienstock & Winner's Domestic Dispute and Earle Mack's Grand Hombre. Domestic Dispute will come in from the West Coast for trainer Patrick Gallagher, having won the Santa Catalina (gr. II) in January while still in the Bob Baffert barn. He has not been out since a tenth place finish at 44-1 in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Grand Hombre is lightly raced, having only three starts under his belt, but the Grand Slam colt has wowed everyone who has seen him. He handed Strong Hope the only defeat of his career (before the Travers), beating him decisively in a special weight in March at Gulfstream. Resting for almost four months after that, he came north and broke his first two allowance conditions against older horses.

My Trusty Cat and City Fire are the co-high weights at 121 pounds in Sunday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Oaks one race prior to the Pennsylvania Derby. A field of 10 competes at 1 mile and 70 yards. Post time for the Oaks is 3:56 p.m. EDT.

750,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III), 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 mile
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey, ML Odds
1. Toccet (KY), 119, Jorge F. Chavez, 5/2
2. Christine's Outlaw (KY), 114, Ramon A. Dominguez, 12/1
3. Valleyman (PA), 114, Joseph Rocco, 20/1
4. Tafaseel (KY), 114, Richard Migliore, 5/1
5. Grand Hombre (KY), 114, Joe Bravo, 6/1
6. Max Forever (FL), 122, Jose C. Ferrer, 15/1
7. Dynever (KY), 122, Edgar S. Prado, 2/1
8. Ashmore (KY), 114, Anthony S. Black, 12/1
9. Domestic Dispute (KY), 122, Corey S. Nakatani, 12/1
10. Gimmeawink (KY), 122, Rodrigo Madrigal, Jr., 8/1

$100,000 Pennsylvania Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile and 70 yards
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Ladyecho (KY), 116, Stewart Elliott
2. Rhumb Line (KY), 116, Joe Bravo
3. Tyne (FL), 113, Abdiel Toribio
4. Souris (KY), 116, Jorge F. Chavez
5. Holiday Runner (KY), 113, James Lopez
6. My Trusty Cat (KY), 121, Anthony S. Black
7. River Cruise (MD), 116, Jeremy Rose
8. City Fire (KY), 121, Jose C. Ferrer
9. Lets Just Do It (KY), 113, (No Rider)
10. Wired N Ready (FL), 116, Edgar S. Prado