Penn Derby to Answer Some Questions

Category : News - Fri 20/09/2013 - 12:00 EDT

A trio of graded-stakes races go Saturday afternoon at Parx Racing, including the $1,000,000 Grade II Pennsylvania Derby. Going 1 1/8 miles on the dirt, the field includes Will Take Charge and Moreno, who battled to a 1-2 finish a month ago in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Will Take Charge was thought to be a contender on the Triple Crown trail this past spring, but failed to show much over the three races. After seven weeks off he came back to run second in the Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes.

Will a champion contender show up?

While the question with Will Take Charge is if he’s starting to fulfill the promise he showed early in his career, for Moreno it’s can a horse come out of nowhere to beat the best three-year-olds in the country? After all, it took him 10 races to break his maiden – but then he promptly went on to win going away next time out in the Grade II Dwyer Stakes at Belmont. In the Travers he certainly looked like a champion, going all out to hold off Kentucky Derby winner Orb through the stretch, and finishing ahead of a field that included three Grade I winners.

Java’s War tries to get back in the conversation

One thing for sure is that Will Take Charge and Moreno won’t be going off at 9-1 and 33-1 as they did in the Travers (the morning line has them 2-1 and 5-2), so longshots will have to be found elsewhere. If all the money goes to those two, a price might be had on Java’s War (4-1 ML). He was fourth of four in the Swaps Stakes, but the Penn will be his second off a layoff.  Fury Kapcori (8-1 ML) has been knocking on the door, finishing second in three of his last four, and will likely be on or near the pace under jockey Mike Smith.

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